Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Trump urges against oil production cut ahead of OPEC meeting

Trump urges against oil production cut ahead of OPEC meeting

"A massive liquidation in long positions by money managers has dampened market confidence on oil prices considerably", said Benjamin Lu of Singaporean brokerage Phillip Futures.

"OPEC is an independent organization, not a part of the US Department of Energy to take orders from Washington", said Zanganeh, who has left Tehran for Vienna to attend the OPEC summit on Thursday and Friday.

The supply overhang will be the focus of a meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday, at which the producer group is expected to decide some form of supply cut aimed at supporting crude prices.

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

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Iran hopes to be exempted from the cuts to keep its economy afloat, as the country faces harsh economic sanctions imposed by the US.

"We are hopeful that they will come around this time and understand that everyone has to cut together", an OPEC delegate said, asking not to be named.

Donald Trump has often complained about OPEC this year as higher crude oil prices have raised fuel cost.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia urged OPEC and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, or 1.3 percent of global production.

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Oil market watchers were expecting a supply cut of around 1.2 million to 1.4 million barrels per day, and Al-Falih's comments caused prices to slide. Official U.S. government oil production and inventory data are also due on Thursday. "We just have to see how it will be distributed", another delegate said. Iraq is not the only one that can't really afford the cuts: Iran has stated it will not discuss its production quota while under sanctions and Russian Federation has made it clear it was fine with prices where they are.

The wait for Moscow signals how much Opec has changed since 2016 when Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation ended their historic animosity and started to manage the oil market together.

At 1054 GMT, January WTI crude oil is trading $50.47, down $2.42 or -4.56% and February Brent crude oil is at $58.65, down $2.91 or -4.73%.

Ardabili said the committee has unilaterally allowed certain members to produce above their quotas since May despite being "obliged to inform other OPEC members of any change in production and secure their consensus".

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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. By some estimates, the US this year became the world's top crude producer.

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