Saudi Arabia and Russia reiterating that they will maintain their crude production cuts until the end of this year was motivation enough for oil prices on Monday to rise, with two key benchmarks gaining minimally.
Brent settled up 29 cents at $85.18 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate settled up 81 cents to $80.87.
The Saudis' intent with maintaining a voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) is to keep output around 9 million bpd; Moscow is curbing exports by 300,000 bpd, in addition to earlier cuts made with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Both nations need higher oil revenues, according to Bloomberg Economics: the Saudis may need oil prices as high as $100 to fund projects such Neom city, and the former Soviet Union requires oil dollars to finance its war against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency warned that a geographical broadening of the conflict between Israel and Hamas could prompt the Saudis and Russians to revise their planned cuts; but that concern doesn't yet seem to be resulting in any great supply impact, whereas Bloomberg pointed out that the two nations may in fact be doubly motivated to stay on their course of cutbacks due to signs that physical oil markets are weakening.
In other oil related news on Monday, data from India showed that the average landed price of Russian crude for India in September was around $81.70 per barrel, down from about $86 per barrel in August; also, India's crude oil imports from Russia declined by 9 percent month-on-month in September and averaged around 1.42 million bpd.
However, Indian refiners were said to have bought more oil from Saudi Arabia during the same time frame.
Also on Monday, TankerTrackers.com data showed that amid intensifying sanctions talk from the U.S., Iranian oil exports declined for the second consecutive month in October, with 1.43 million bpd of crude and condensate being loaded (194,000 bpd lower than September and reportedly the lowest export-loading volume since July).
This came in the wake of the U.S. house of representative on Friday passing a bill that would expand sanctions on entities helping facilitate Iran's sanctions busting.