Opec waits on Russia's decision as it searches for oil cut deal

06 December, 2018, 13:49 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Khalid Al-Falih minister of Energy Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia attends a news conference after a meeting Friday in Vienna Austria at which OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to cut global oil producation

President Donald Trump urged OPEC nations not to cut oil production ahead of a meeting of the cartel to consider a reduction in output.

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

Traders said oil prices were being weighed down by weak global financial markets, which saw stock markets tumble on Thursday.

Five OPEC delegates told Reuters news agency the group was waiting for news from Russian Federation, as Energy Minister Alexander Novak had flown back from Vienna on Wednesday for a possible meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

International Brent crude oil futures were down 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $61.39 per barrel.

The group could eventually agree to remove about 1 million barrels a day, about 1 percent of global output, from the market, Al Rumhy said.

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President Trump's Tweet could be seen as a warning to the cartel to measure any production cuts carefully, but OPEC has always been the target of Trump's tweets, even prior to his presidency, chastising the organization for restricting oil during the near-$100/barrel days. Such a move would mean cutting production by more than one million bpd.

Moscow has shown willingness to cooperate with OPEC to cut oil production.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years. But Washington gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year.

"We think OPEC will spend some time to choose the words being used. Also if Saudis are obnoxious with a deep output cut, it will spur the Democrats in Congress to go more actively for the Nopec legislation and the withdrawal of U.S. support for the Saudi-backed forces in the war in Yemen".

Iranian oil minister has lashed out at United States special representative for Iran Brian Hook over his "meddlesome" meetings with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, asserting that OPEC is an independent body that does not take orders from the US. "Being too cautious on the words, to please President Trump, runs however the risk of diluting the message", said Olivier Jakob from Petromatrix consultancy. Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said Iraq as OPEC's second-largest producer would support and join a cut.

One issue that might complicate relations between the U.S. and OPEC is the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi by people linked to the government in Riyadh. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many USA politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.

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