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Oil extends gains as US rigs idled before Doha freeze talks
[NEW YORK] Oil extended gains after its biggest jump in almost two months on Friday as US drillers idled more rigs ahead of talks between the world's biggest suppliers about freezing output.
Futures rose as much as 1.9 per cent in New York after increasing 6.6 per cent Friday, the biggest rise since Feb 12.
The number of active oil rigs in the US dropped for the 15th time in 16 weeks to the lowest level since 2009, Baker Hughes Inc said on its website Friday.
Venezuela said the first step in the April 17 meeting in Doha between producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia should be to freeze output levels.
Crude has rebounded after reaching an almost 13-year low this year on signs a global glut will ease amid speculation over whether an accord to cap output can be reached.
Saudi Arabia said it will agree to a freeze only if it's joined by other suppliers including Iran, while Kuwait said a deal can be done without Tehran's support. Iraq boosted output to a record level in March, according to the state-run Oil Marketing Co.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery climbed as much as 75 US cents to US$40.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$40.23 at 6.52 am Singapore time.
The contract gained US$2.46 to US$39.72 on Friday. Total volume traded was about 36 per cent above the 100-day average.
Brent for June settlement added as much as 51 US cents, or 1.2 per cent, to US$42.45 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The global benchmark crude was at a 91-US cent premium to WTI for June delivery.