Oil surges to highest price in over a year

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TORONTO — The price of oil settled at US$51.82 a barrel today, its highest level in more than a year.

December contracts for crude, which are the most heavily traded, soared US$1.20 due to several factors including signs that Saudi Arabia foresees an end to the downturn in oil prices.

The last time oil futures contracts hit such levels was on July 14, 2015, when they settled at US$53.04 per barrel.

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Today’s settlement price is nearly double the lows seen earlier this year, when a barrel of crude settled as low as US$26.21 in February.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih, spoke at a conference Wednesday in London, where he said the balance between supply and demand is improving.

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He said that situation is further strengthened by an OPEC agreement made several weeks ago in Algiers, Algeria, to trim production.

More to come.