RIYADH: Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al Falih said on Sunday that the current down cycle of crude prices is close to an end as market fundamentals improve.
"The current down cycle is nearing an end," Falih told a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak after a Gulf ministerial meeting in Riyadh. "Market fundamentals, in terms of supply and demand, have begun to improve," Falih said. "We are optimistic that oil prices will continue to improve in the future," he said.
US oil prices close at $51.35 a barrel, highest for 2016
Qatar's energy minister, Mohammed al Sada, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Opec oil exporting cartel, also said the "difficult phase is over". Opec has invited Russia and key non-members to a meeting later this month as the cartel and Moscow seek to tighten cooperation to boost historically low crude prices.
Oil prices currently hover around $50 per barrel after hitting a 10-year low of less than $30 in January, down from a peak of more than $100 in mid-2014.
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