>> A brief moment of hope for oil producers. News spreading late Monday of a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia. They've agreed to cooperate on stabilizing the market. The benchmark Brent Crude price nearing $50 a barrel after that, but soon falling back. A lack of details sapping the initial rush of optimism.
Reuters' Breakingviews Associate Editor Andy Critchlow says a lot could still go wrong.>> I mean, these are two global oil producers who don't really get on. Russia supports Iran, which is Saudi Arabia's kind of main political rival in the Middle East. And Saudi Arabia is always vying with Russia for the top spot as the world's biggest producer, and wants to keep Russia out of its back yard, essentially the wider Middle East.
>> Lifting prices would require cuts to oil output. That could come in late September, at the earliest. Members of the OPEC producers cartel, due to meet then in Algeria. A lot of focus on Iran after it scuppered the last attempt to freeze production.>> So Iran has come back to the market since sanctions were lifted.
They've recovered most of the crude that they lost due to sanctions. So that they're getting close to 4 million barrels per day, which is the level that they said they wanted to return to, at pre-embargo levels. That could be a signal that they're prepared to now sit down and cooperate.
>> Even if a deal is agreed, analysts will be watching to see if it sticks. OPEC members have a habit of reneging on output cuts. They all want someone else to be the one to take the pain.