US becomes net oil exporter as imports hit record low

Oil Edges Up After Saudi Dithering on Cuts Sends Prices SwingingMore

Oil Edges Up After Saudi Dithering on Cuts Sends Prices SwingingMore

"We just have to see how it will be distributed", another delegate said.

However, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters on Thursday morning that a cut of 1 million bpd would be sufficient.

Russian Federation and OPEC agreed in 2016 to a coordinated effort to scale back output in an attempt to reduce a surplus in the market, created in large part by the increase in supply from U.S. fracking.

Brent oil prices, which lost 30 per cent of their value last month after climbing as high as $86 per barrel in October, needed a harsher cut of more than one million bpd to recoup some of the losses, according to analysts.

"We don't need permission from anyone to cut", Saudi minister Al-Falih said. However, he noted that all the participants will be listened to in order to arrive at a consensus on the issue.

Saudi Arabia has indicated it wants OPEC and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, or 1.3 percent of global production, news agency Reuters reported from Vienna. The OPEC-Russia alliance was made necessary in 2016 to compete with the vastly increased production of oil by the United States in recent years.

At the end of 2016, OPEC's regular members joined forces with other countries, most notably Russian Federation, to scale back output in a bid to reduce a glut that was weighing on prices.

"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted".

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Prices have already plunged more than 30% over the past two months and a barrel of Brent crude, the European benchmark, now stands at around $60.

Iran is now subject to US sanctions and as such won't participate in any curbs, the country's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said.

Oil prices have crashed by nearly a third since October to around $60 per barrel as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports. Meanwhile, Qatar, a Saudi rival and Iranian ally, said this week it would leave OPEC in January.

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.

Mr al-Falih, said today: "We hope to conclude something by the end of the day tomorrow".

"The oil cut will be between 1.0 and 1.3 million bpd". One of the key questions in Thursday's talks is whether to exempt Iran from having to cut production, as its energy industry is already hobbled by US sanctions on its crude exports. Beyond that, we also have the jobs number coming out of the United States, that of course can move the markets as far as demand is concerned as well.

Iran has said it is carefully monitoring the next steps by some OPEC members and their allies which have "arbitrarily" ramped up oil production, leading to a crash in prices.

"We assume a cut of around 1.0 million barrels per day in the first quarter of next year, using October 2018 production levels as a reference".

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