Oil prices jumped on Tuesday, heading for the first three-day gain in
five weeks, on signs that the world's biggest producers of the commodity may
act jointly to buoy prices, which have halved over the past year.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark traded up 1.9% at the $50.19 a barrel milestone for the first time in two weeks. It rose 2.3% on Monday.
The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, was up 1.34% at $46.88 a barrel. The contract gained 1.6% yesterday.
Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said that the market moves were possibly caused by "speculation that OPEC and non-OPEC countries will find an agreement to cooperate."
Russia's energy minister said Russia and Saudi Arabia had discussed the oil market in a meeting last week and would continue to consult each other.
Separately, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said at a conference in London that OPEC and non-OPEC members should work together to lower global surplus.
The former head of U.S. shale producer EOG Resources said at the same conference that U.S. oil production growth would shrink this month and begin to dip early next year due to weak prices.
Iran's crude oil sales were on course to slip to the lowest in seven months as its main Asian customers were purchasing less than before.
This fall beats predictions that Iran's exports would rise after Tehran and six world powers reached a nuclear agreement on July 14, although sanctions are unlikely to be officially relaxed until next year.