By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - Crude oil prices were up during Tuesday's early trading supported by Russia's positive statement over OPEC and its allies' production cut deal that has sustained prices.
During weak pre-Christmas trading, international benchmark Brent crude was trading at $66.59 per barrel at 0622 GMT for a 0.1% gain after it closed Monday at $66.53 a barrel with a 0.64% increase.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $60.63 a barrel at the same time for a 0.07% increase after ending the previous session at $60.59 per barrel with a 0.23% gain.
OPEC, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC, led by Russia, agreed on Dec. 6 to lower their collective oil production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), on top of the existing reduction of 1.2 million bpd, until the end of March 2020.
So far the deal "is effective and brings results," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Russia's RBC TV in an interview on Monday, adding "the situation is more or less stable on the market."
OPEC and its allies, dubbed as OPEC+, will convene in Vienna on March 5-6 to reassess supply and demand in the global oil market. Novak said the group's decision in March would depend on "forecasts for the following quarters."
"We can consider any options, including gradual easing of quotas, including continuation of the deal," he said.