B&E | Effect of OPEC-Russia Deal: Oil Prices End Year with Biggest Gain since 2009
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B&E | Effect of OPEC-Russia Deal: Oil Prices End Year with Biggest Gain since 2009

Image Attribute: The pumpjack, such as this one located south of Midland, Texas, is a common sight in West Texas / Source: Wikipedia

Oil prices saw their biggest annual gain in seven years in 2016 after OPEC joined with Russia and other major producers outside the cartel to curb a supply glut that weighed down the market.

Premium crude prices soared by 52 percent in London and 45 percent in New York -- the largest gains since jumps of over 70 percent in 2009.

Brent North Sea crude ended the year at $56.82 a barrel after having fallen below $30 in January in the culmination of a long and painful collapse for producers that started in 2014.

The price rout was due to a fuel glut attributed to the U.S. shale revolution as well as divisions within OPEC that prevented agreement on curbing production for two years.

But a historic OPEC agreement struck in September is due to start reducing global production on January 1 eventually by about 1.7 million barrels a day.

Russia played a major role in helping to forge the deal, bringing allies Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan into the agreement in a rare joint meeting last month.

The surge in energy prices in 2016 boosted the stocks of energy companies, helping to stoke solid gains in stock exchanges worldwide during the year.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL, Reuters, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.