Things are picking up for the oil and gas industry – a good song to the ears of managers of Africa's biggest economy.

On Monday, oil markets firmed with Brent crude opening above 60 dollars per barrel.

The development follows expectations that the production cut led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which is due to expire next March, could be extended.

Brent crude oil futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at 60.63 dollars per barrel on Monday morning, up 19 cents or 0.3% from their last settlement.

That’s close to their highest level since July 2015 and up more than 36% since their 2017 lows last June.

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“With strong compliance to OPEC’s production curbs already supporting prices, comments from the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince that suggested the production cut agreement should be extended added to gains,” the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited said on Monday.

OPEC plus Russia and nine other producers have agreed to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to get rid of a supply glut.

The pact runs to March 2018, but Saudi Arabia and Russia, who are leading the effort, have both voiced their support to extend the agreement.

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