Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting

Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting

During Thursday's meeting, OPEC leaders are expected to discuss how to stabilize crude oil production after US prices plunged by 22-percent in November - making it the worst month since the financial crisis in 2008.

OPEC meets on Thursday in Vienna, followed by talks with allies such as Russian Federation on Friday.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that a deal gets done, but the devil will be in the detail", said Mohammad Darwazah, a director at Medley Global Advisers. If Russia contributed around 250,000 bpd, the overall cut could exceed 1.3 million bpd.

The last time the OPEC+ group agreed to curtail output, in late 2016, it settled on a combined 1.8 million-barrel-a-day reduction. "We just have to see how it will be distributed", another delegate said.

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

Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's crude oil production has risen by 4.1 percent since mid-2018, to 33.31 million barrels per day (bpd).

Surprise Tornado Blitz Strikes Central Illinois, Injuring at Least 30
Louis, Mo. have sent out survey teams to affected areas to determine a count on how many tornadoes broke out across the state. Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield.

"We hope to conclude something by the end of the day tomorrow", the Saudi minister, Khalid al-Falih, told reporters, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration has sought to maintain oil production to avoid a run-up in prices as it tightens sanctions preventing Iran from exporting crude.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years. Washington also gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year. "The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" said Trump, who has repeatedly accused the cartel of keeping prices artificially high. Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

One issue that might complicate relations between the United States 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 United States politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.

"If Mr. Hook has come to Vienna to apply for U.S. membership in OPEC, and this is the reason why he meets OPEC members, the request can be reviewed", Zanganeh told SHANA. "Being too cautious on the words, to please President Trump, runs however the risk of diluting the message", said Olivier Jakob from Petromatrix consultancy.

Related Articles