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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added $1.40 to $53.99 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added $1.62 to $63.29 (all figures in this para U.S.). Both benchmarks perked up on comments from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who told a conference in Russia yesterday that OPEC and its non-OPEC cohorts are all but certain to extend their production-cutting pact into the second half of this year (the current pact runs out at the end of this month). He mused that "calibration" might be required as to the size of the pact. More discussions are needed, but presumably Mr. al-Falih and his fellow ministers will have a better sense of numbers heading into the OPEC meeting on June 25 and the joint OPEC/non-OPEC meeting on June 26, both in Vienna. Meanwhile, Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.38 to WTI, down from a discount of $13.31. Natural gas for July added one cent to $2.34. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 139.07.
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