OPEC members expected to agree oil production cut

A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard near Strasbourg France

A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard near Strasbourg France

More broadly, the slide in USA oil followed a tumble in global stock markets on Tuesday, with investors anxious about the threat of a widespread economic slowdown.

Although Russia, the largest producer in the wider group known as OPEC+, agreed to a cut in principle, the eventual size of their contribution remains undefined and will be key to putting together the final deal.

The two major players in the production cut talks, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, seem to be on board with a production cut, but the volume of cuts has yet to be determined, and it is also uncertain if they will go it alone should others refuse. A delegate from another country said some members believe a smaller reduction would be adequate.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, December 5, urged OPEC members not to slash production at their upcoming meeting, saying global oil prices should remain low.

Their summit begins 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).

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

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She added, "The global community can not keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions".

The delegate said both countries had made significant production output since the current deal went into force in January 2017, and it was time for them to "contribute".

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

Trump has repeatedly accused the oil cartel of keeping prices artificially high. Washington also gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year.

President Trump's Tweet could be seen as a warning to the cartel to measure any production cuts carefully, but OPEC has always been the target of Trump's tweets, even prior to his presidency, chastising the organization for restricting oil during the near-$100/barrel days. Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

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

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

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