OPEC nations grapple with mooted production cuts

Iraq says OPEC & allies may extend oil output curb to 1.6 million bpd

Iraq says OPEC & allies may extend oil output curb to 1.6 million bpd

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up by 31 cents, or 0.6%, at $56.41.

Oil has been rising since early October on optimism the USA and China are close to an initial deal, suggesting crude has room to fall if the two sides can't reach an agreement. "Let's wait ... but I think the meeting, as usual, will be of a constructive nature". "In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal".

Business a.m learnt that OPEC and its allies are in talks to further increase the existing supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by 4,000 bpd with an extension till June 2020.

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Saudi Aramco's stock market debut, which will get off the ground Thursday when the state-run oil giant prices its shares, has put Saudi Arabia in a precarious position as it bets on what volume of oil production will hit a sweet spot for prices, with the added pressure of considering the interests of its shareholders.

At the same time, a senior official at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday that Opec producers are unlikely to agree to change their current deal on curbing output until the market outlook becomes clearer.

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The oil producing nations will decide if they want to maintain, relax or hoping to sustain their production cuts that they have experienced over the last three years. However, the likelihood that OPEC and its allies will extend production cuts and toughen compliance, together with some signs that they could deepen them, appears to be propping up prices this week.

"The global oil supply-demand balance requires an extension of the current OPEC+ cuts", Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts including Damien Courvalin wrote in a report.

Oil gained on December 4 ahead of an expected extension to production curbs by OPEC and its allies, with further support from industry data showing a larger than forecast drop in US crude stockpiles. Growth into 2020 could range between 100,000 bpd and 1 million bpd. Stockpiles of crude oil fell by 3.7 million barrels, more than double expectations of a decline of 1.7 million barrels.

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Concerns about the inability of the United States and China, the world's two biggest oil users, to reach a preliminary deal to resolve their 17-month trade dispute also weighed on oil prices, along with discouraging USA economic data.

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