Oil industry leaders say production cuts may be necessary

OPEC and its allies meet under mounting pressure to consider renewed production cuts after a slump in oil prices

OPEC and its allies meet under mounting pressure to consider renewed production cuts after a slump in oil prices

"We need a reduction approaching one million bpd to balance the market", Khalid al-Falih told a ministerial committee of OPEC and Non-OPEC states in Abu Dhabi, AFP reported.

The U.S. has meanwhile allowed some of its allies - Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey - as well as rival China to continue to purchase Iranian oil despite re-imposed sanctions, as long as they work to reduce their imports to zero. "Opec has reduced production since June and quite frankly we would have been over $100 by now [without those cuts]".

A decision is expected only when the OPEC and non-OPEC ministers meet in Vienna on 5 December to assess the global energy market.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, said on Sunday it would cut its shipments by half a million barrels per day in December due to seasonal lower demand.

"This relief gives Iraq time to start taking steps towards energy independence", a video published on the US Embassy in Iraq's official Facebook page said.

Oil prices have fallen around 20 per cent in the last month, hit by an increase in global supply and the threat of a slowdown in demand, especially from customers whose currencies have weakened against the dollar and eroded their purchasing power. In the meantime, the Kingdom said it is taking the lead by cutting its output to 500,000 barrels a day come December.

The country faces uncertain prospects in its attempts to persuade other producers to agree to a coordinated output cut.

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Ahead of the meeting, he acknowledged that so far there was no new deal to cut production among OPEC and non-OPEC producers, who struck an agreement in late 2016 to cut output by 1.8 million bpd to tackle an oversupply crisis.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, traditional arch-rivals have since 2016 worked in sync to counter U.S. shale, joining hands last year to remove a five-year inventory level by undertaking 1.8 million bpd of cuts.

"There is no consensus yet among oil producers about cutting production", Falih said.

It was "premature to talk about a specific action", he told reporters, asked about the possibility of an output cut to support sliding prices.

Oil prices have shed a fifth of their value in just one month after surging to a four-year high in early October, driven by a combination of factors centred on higher supply and fears of sluggish demand. So, we know that supply is going to be reduced and in the medium term we can expect higher oil prices.

"I think it all comes down to Russian Federation", said Helima Croft, chief commodities strategist at RBC Capital Market LLC. That confounded a market that was anticipating a stricter enforcement. They worry that a continued fall in crude oil price will cause a 2014-16 style oil crash when oil price dropped 70%, in large part due to the USA shale oil boom.

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