Oil prices fall as OPEC meeting begins

Oil prices fall as OPEC meeting begins

Oil prices fall as OPEC meeting begins

The group is under pressure after a collapse in oil prices last month.

Earlier on Thursday, ministers were discussing a proposal to curb their oil output by about 1 million barrels a day, which would go a little further than Saudi Arabia's preference for a moderate reduction that wouldn't shock the market.

Saudi Arabia has indicated it wants the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to cut output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, or 1.3% of global production.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih, OPEC's de-facto leader, has in recent weeks travelled to Libya and Nigeria to press them on the exemptions, though no public commitments have been announced. Crude prices have slid since October amid high rates of production in countries such as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

OPEC ended talks in Vienna without a deal on oil production cuts, with the size of Russia's contribution remaining a sticking point before further talks on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged OPEC to continue pumping at current levels in order to drive fuel prices even lower.

"Trump is making America great again", said Joe McMonigle, an oil analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management LLC and a former senior official at the U.S. Energy Department.

The US, Al-Falih said, "is not in a position to tell us what to do".

"Markets.believe the production cut deal will be in range of 1-1.3 million bpd", ANZ bank said on Thursday.

Crude prices began falling in October and continued to plunge last month because of oversupply and fears weaker global economic growth would dampen energy demand. Another factor is surging U.S. production, which has reached record highs of 11.5mb/d, or more than a 10th of global output, a figure that is expected to rise further in 2019.

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Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the polices of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

President Trump is pressuring OPEC to increase oil production as members of the organization are set to meet in Vienna on Thursday.

Iran's Zangeneh said it was the first time a USA president was trying to tell OPEC what to do.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said he was anxious about inventory build-up next year amid plenty of supply in the market.

Analysts estimate that if Russian Federation is willing to step up its production cuts, OPEC and non-OPEC countries could trim production by a combined 1.3-1.4 million barrels a day.

"The oil cut will be between 1.0 and 1.3 million bpd".

"They should know that OPEC is not part of their Secretary of Energy", said its minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

But OPEC and its partners, who account for more than half of the world's oil output, are planning to throttle production, which could lead to rising oil prices.

OPEC is also riven by internal conflict, particularly the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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