Oil prices climbed today on the prospect of a long freeze in OPEC output and more evidence of cuts by other producers to combat falling demand. International benchmark Brent crude oil jumped 35 cents to $21.68 per barrel, bringing the week's gain to 6%.
OPEC Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez told Reuters he saw the cartel maintaining stringent output curbs for the rest of this year and that OPEC wanted prices to increase by at least 10% from current levels.
Previously, OPEC had hoped to lift crude oil output in the second half of this year to meet a recovery in demand driven by economic growth.
Rodriguez said he expected OPEC to maintain its current production ceiling despite what Russia, a non-OPEC member, decides to do in the second quarter. Rodriguez is due to meet top Russian officials before OPEC's March 15 ministerial meeting.