Saudi Arabia: OPEC seeking 'sufficient cut' to balance oil market

Saudi Arabia: OPEC seeking 'sufficient cut' to balance oil market

When asked if the Saudis had permission from Trump to cut production, Al-Falih replied: "I don't need permission from any foreign governments".

But upon leaving the meeting, Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said "we're still deliberating".

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.

Crude prices have been falling since October because major producers - including the USA - are pumping oil at high rates, and due to fears that weaker economic growth could dampen energy demand. Five delegates said the group was waiting for news from Russian Federation as energy minister Alexander Novak who had flown back from Vienna for a possible meeting with President Vladimir Putin. However, he noted that all the participants will be listened to in order to arrive at a consensus on the issue.

Members have hinted they plan to cut output by 1.3 million barrels a day, which President Trump fears would cause fuel prices to rise. The participants had reportedly discussed the idea of reducing output next year by reverting to production quotas agreed in 2016.

He further added that the Saudi's are comfortable with the current oil price but confirmed that there had been no decision on an output cut yet.

The comments came a day after US President Donald Trump said he wanted OPEC to keep production high to ensure low oil prices.

Brent crude futures were down $2.07 on the day to $59.49 a barrel by 1532 GMT or 9:02 pm IST, having hit a session low of $58.36, while US futures fell $1.38 to $51.51 a barrel.

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US oil prices were little changed after the news.

Oil prices have fallen by nearly a third since October to around $62 per barrel after Saudi Arabia raised production to make up for the drop in Iranian exports. The alliance has transformed OPEC into a duopoly in which Russian Federation, which isn't a formal member of the cartel but part of the production cuts alliance, is asserting its power. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century.

Possibly complicating any Opec decision is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Mr al-Falih, said today: "We hope to conclude something by the end of the day tomorrow". Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports due to new USA sanctions. A cut of a million barrels would be the minimum to support the market, and anything less could see the price of oil fall another $10 a barrel, according to Wilson.

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.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years.

The US, not a member of OPEC but a significant oil producer itself, has repeatedly called for oil prices to stay low, with Trump using Twitter several times to make the point.

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