US Oil Production Surge Keeps Pressure on OPEC+ to Cut Supply

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It is hard to say how emerging markets will react despite the economic ceasefire between Beijing and Washington and the plan to cut oil production.

Prices, however, significantly pared much of their early Friday losses as speculation has grown over a potential production cut by major oil producers, ahead of next week's final meeting of the year for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

At last week's G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation agreed to extend their crude oil production cuts in an effort to raise the price of benchmark Brent crude back to around $70 a barrel, about $10 higher than it traded for on Friday.

Peter Kiernan, lead energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, added, "OPEC is grappling over how to manage the expected weaker fundamentals in the oil market next year, yet the uncertainty about what the group will do at its meeting next week is causing markets to be more anxious".

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the extension after a meeting Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

US West Texas Intermediate was also able to recover, having dropped below $50 per barrel for the first time since October of the previous year.

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OPEC, which pumps four-in-10 barrels produced worldwide, will convene in Vienna on December 6 to discuss output cuts after oil prices in November suffered the largest monthly drop since the global financial crisis in 2008.

US and Brent crude oil futures jumped in early trading on Sunday after the United States and China came to an agreement on Saturday on trade issues that would put off new tariffs.

OPEC pumped 32.9 million bpd in October, as Saudi Arabia boosted production sharply compared with 32.3 million bpd in January. WTI fell 1.27 US dollars to settle at 50.29 dollars a barrel, while Brent fell 1.72 dollars to close at 58.76 dollars a barrel. "But the details are now what matter - how much will be cut, from when, for how long and, crucially, from what baselines". The January contract rose about 1% for the week.

As the downbeat mood takes hold, analysts at Oppenheimer said in a Friday note that they're cutting their WTI oil price estimate for 2019 by 15%, to $61 a barrel. February Brent settled at $US59.46, down 45 cents, or almost 0.8%. It ended November down around 20.3%.

That has left Brent was down about 12% so far this year, as surging oil production in the US, Russia and among key members of OPEC has helped to create a glut in global markets. The volume reduction can range from 1.0 to 1.4 million barrels./day.

Friday saw Baker Hughes report that the number of active domestic rigs drilling for oil rose by 2 to 887 last week.

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