Major oil exporters mull supply cut amid internal rifts, US demands

major oil exporters mull supply cut amid internal rifts us demands

Oil ministers from some of the world's biggest petroleum producers meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss an output cut to bolster prices, as Middle Eastern tensions and US demands for cheap oil add a political dimension to the talks.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is mulling a reduction in the area of 1 million barrels per day (bpd), which would take about 1 per cent of global supplies off the market.

Ministers from the 15 OPEC countries meet on Thursday. A Russia-led group of 10 additional countries plan to join them on Friday.

Together, the 25 so-called OPEC-plus countries have been implementing an output cap since early 2017.

However, there has been a dramatic price drop from 86 dollars per barrel in October to below 60 dollars last week, triggering a move towards a further reduction.

There is a "yes to a cut" among oil exporters, Oman's Oil Minister Mohammed al-Rumhi said on Wednesday evening, adding that specifics still need to be discussed.

US President Donald Trump tweeted ahead of the Vienna talks that "the World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!"

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer, has tried balancing the interests of its US ally and other major oil consumers on the one hand, and its need for higher oil revenues on the other.

Saudi Arabia's disputes with rival OPEC members Qatar and Iran have created rifts within the oil cartel.

Qatar announced its exit from OPEC this week, while Iran has complained that Riyadh is colluding with Washington to enforce the US embargo on Iranian oil.

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