Opec waits on Russia's decision as it searches for oil cut deal

The U.S. exported more oil gasoline and other petroleum products than it imported in the last week of November. Katie Howell  E&E News

The U.S. exported more oil gasoline and other petroleum products than it imported in the last week of November. Katie Howell E&E News

This comes as US crude oil is now trading at $53 a barrel, which is down from a four-year high.

Oil prices dipped on Thursday in tepid trading ahead of a meeting by producer group OPEC that is expected to result in a supply cut aimed at draining a glut that has pulled down crude prices by 30 percent since October.

Concern over an emerging supply glut has decimated oil prices - West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, fell more than 2 percent to $51.56 per barrel on Thursday - but President Trump has pushed for cheaper oil, urging other countries to refrain from output cuts.

Three delegates said Opec and its allies could cut output by 1 million barrels per day if Russian Federation contributed 150,000 bpd of that reduction.

Saudi Arabia has been calling steep cuts in oil output and was expected to raise those demands during the meeting, but pressure from the USA may convince Saudi leaders to take a softer tone.

Iranian oil minister has lashed out at United States special representative for Iran Brian Hook over his "meddlesome" meetings with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, asserting that OPEC is an independent body that does not take orders from the US.

Representatives from some of the world's top oil producers are due to meet on Thursday in Vienna, following a recent decline in the price of the commodity.

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Key to the global economic outlook will be whether the United States and China can resolve their trade disputes.

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh made the remarks in reaction to Hook's Wednesday meeting with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih one day before OPEC's 175th meeting in Vienna.

Yet the truce may not last.

But US President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to place "major tariffs" on Chinese goods imported into the United States if his administration didn't reach a desirable deal with Beijing.

In Asian powerhouse Japan, the economy is expected to have contracted more again in the third quarter, with the slowdown deepening, a poll showed on Wednesday, with Q3 annualised GDP expected to fall by 1.9%.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are desperate to shore up oil prices after a slump of more than $20 a barrel since October. Brent and WTI have averaged $72.80 and $66.10 per barrel so far this year.

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