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Oil price up nearly 1% as Opec defers extending output cuts

24 September 2017, 12:57 | Melanie Burgess

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak is seen at a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Vienna

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak is seen at a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Vienna

Officials from the oil producers' cartel and other non-member states led by Russian Federation said that they were gradually eliminating a yawning supply glut that has kept crude prices depressed for more than three years.

This is the outcome of the joint ministerial monitoring committee of OPEC and non-OPEC countries which held in Vienna on Friday.

Nigeria had argued that although its production recovery efforts had made some appreciable progress since October a year ago, it was not yet out of the woods.

He noted that even though Nigeria hit 1.8 million barrels per day in the month of August, it was not enough justification for a call by some countries for Nigeria to be brought into the oil production cut deal.

Acknowledging the gains so far made, Al-Falih cautioned against complacency, and emphasized the need for under-performing participating countries to raise their levels of compliance to 100 per cent in order to further boost cooperation towards the rebalancing of the market.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 0.66% to $50.23 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.47% to $55.40 a barrel. "Barring any extraordinarily bullish measures announced by OPEC, we feel crude is at the high end of the range at this point".

Austrian police officers guard the OPEC headquarters in Vienna
Austrian police officers guard the OPEC headquarters in Vienna

‧ Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm said the USA government was way too optimistic with its prediction of more than 1 million new barrels in daily United States production and the error is "distorting" global crude prices. Reports say the cartel plans to signal its willingness to extend the deal well into 2018 in an effort to end the global supply glut.

Ministers from nations that together pump more than half the world's oil at times made conflicting statements about whether they would use their meeting on Friday to address perceived shortcomings in their agreement.

"The decrease in Saudi oil exports along with these frequent meetings indicate that there is a strong desire to balance the market", said Anas Alhajji, an independent energy expert and former chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management.

The focus of the meeting will be on OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, which were exempt from the initial deal.

The compliance rate of the OPEC+ agreement on oil production cap amounted to 99% for eight months of this year, he went on.

Crude inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels in the week to September 15 to 470.3 million, compared with expectations for an increase of 3.5 million barrels. "The reality is the cap we agreed on is 1.8 million bpd and as long as we are producing below that, we are already in it".

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