OPEC members expected to agree cut in crude production


"I think a million [barrels a day] will be adequate personally", Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said upon arriving to the meeting in Vienna.

Concern over an emerging supply glut has decimated oil prices - West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark, fell more than 2 percent to $51.56 per barrel on Thursday - but President Trump has pushed for cheaper oil, urging other countries to refrain from output cuts.

Brent oil futures fell as much as 5 percent to below $59 per barrel on fears that there could be no deal but later recovered somewhat, trading down 2 percent by 1325 GMT. Trump said on Twitter.

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The report quoting Oman's Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy said that the actual volumes were still being discussed and the cuts would take September or October 2018 as baseline figures and last from January to June.

"The number that we need is going to be less than 1.3 [million]".

Otherwise, he added, the U.S. official has adopted an unprofessional, naïve, and meddlesome approach.

Whatever the logic, the lack of clarity put another dent in the price of oil.

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- Cuts on the cards?

Crude inventories fell 7.3 million barrels in the week to November 30, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 942,000 barrels.

"If everybody is not willing to join and contribute equally, we will wait until they are".

The agreement was reached during the Thursday talks between OPEC members in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel.

"Today, it is vital that we thoroughly examine the potential gap between supply and demand in 2019, and how this might impact inventory levels and the extremely hard won market balance we have achieved over the past two years", Mazrouei said.

Trump has continued to support the kingdom despite worldwide outrage over the murder but he is at the same time keeping up the pressure for lower prices.

"The big unknown is how President Trump will react to any production cuts", said analysts at ING.

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His comments came after Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said Tehran will not involve itself in any deal over OPEC production levels as long as it remains under the illegal USA sanctions.

"They should know that OPEC is not part of their Secretary of Energy", said its minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

Most OPEC members felt the same way, but "some members are going along with United States policy", he said.

Iran, Saudi's regional rival and fellow OPEC member, has resisted any notion of cutting its output as its crude exports are being pinched already by USA sanctions.

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of being in thrall to the US.

Why is Qatar leaving OPEC?

Doha accounts for only around two percent of OPEC output but the move caught the headlines given the political overtones. "They are blockading our country", he told journalists.

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