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He said: "As is often the case at OPEC meetings, the debate will likely be oriented around the contrasting opinions of Saudi Arabia (looking for a cut) and Russia (think it is too early to say).The Russians have a valid point in wanting to delay; if an OPEC cut was followed in 2019 by a combination of further declines in Iranian exports and underwhelming growth in United States production, the market could start to look tight - or even enter a deficit".

America, with OPEC and Russian Federation, seems to be working towards keeping oil in the $50 range globally, which means we can expect the local prices to stay at the current levels at least for some time.

Possibly complicating any decision on oil output is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

He described the Crown Prince as the "initiator" of the deal.

OPEC is a consortium of 14 oil exporter countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Venezuela.

Iraq will work with OPEC and other partners to stabilize oil markets and isn't concerned about further declines in crude prices, Fayyad Al-Nima, deputy oil minister for refining affairs, said on November 21.

"We are going to.do whatever is necessary, but only if we act together as a group of 25", Falih said, referring to OPEC and its allies. That appeared to contradict another Russian official who on Thursday indicated a willingness to join Saudi Arabia in supply cuts.

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Oil slipped on Wednesday, pressured by rising USA inventories and doubts over whether an OPEC-led output cut will be agreed next week.

The negative economic outlook helped to push oil below $60 a barrel this week from as high as $85 in October, prompting some oil producing states to suggest significant production cuts. This is stark contrast to his statement two weeks ago, when Putin had said that Russian Federation would be okay with a $70 per barrel price.

But Naimi warned repeatedly that the burden of OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts would fall most heavily on Saudi Arabia and the main beneficiaries would be US shale producers, and time has proved him correct.

Nigeria's Kachikwu told reporters it was too early to say whether OPEC member Nigeria would participate in any cuts but added that there was "absolute resolve" within the organisation to stabilise the market.

"OPEC needs to cut if it wants the market to be a little less oversupplied in the first half of 2019", said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.

US oil reserves in 2017 exceeded a 47-year-old record when they increased 6.4 billion barrels, or 19.5 percent, to 39.2 billion barrels, the government said. They've been exempt from the group's cuts agreement and are unlikely to welcome a decision to include them in any new cuts, Petromatrix's Jakob said.


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