Oil prices rose nearly 3% in first half of August over reports of renewed talks by some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to restrain crude output, as Reuters reported, with US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures at $41.90 per barrel and Brent futures standing at $44.34 per barrel.

The price rise came on the back of renewed calls by some OPEC members to freeze production in a bid to rein in output that has been consistently outpacing demand, Business Standard informed.

“Expectation of higher crude oil demand in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, coupled with decrease in availability, is leading the analysts to conclude that the current bear market is only temporary” and prices will increase later this year, said Qatar’s Energy Minister, Mohammed Al Sada, according to Bloomberg.

With regard to crude output freeze negotiations, the Energy Minister of Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, said crude prices were not at levels that warranted intervention, but he remained open to negotiations with OPEC. Previously, Venezuela sought to revive the freeze plan talks.