Trump urges against oil production cut ahead of OPEC meeting

Trump urges against oil production cut ahead of OPEC meeting

In a sign of easing tensions between the world's two biggest economies, Chinese oil trader Unipec plans to resume United States crude shipments to China by March after the Xi-Trump deal at the G20 meeting reduced the risk of tariffs being imposed on these imports, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Although Russia, the largest producer in the wider group known as OPEC+, agreed to a cut in principle, the eventual size of their contribution remains undefined and will be key to putting together the final deal.

Major producers such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait pounced on the occasion to produce as much oil as they could, anticipating a steep drop in Iran's exports which did not happen. "It is still under discussion", one delegate said.

President Trump has issued a long string of Tweets directed at OPEC this year, lashing out at OPEC in the past for restricting production, which raises prices as supply tightens.

Ministers from the core OPEC group, which doesn't include Russian Federation, will meet on Thursday to seek a consensus on exactly who will cut and by how much.

Russia's TASS news agency reported on Wednesday that OPEC and its partners may return production quotas to 2016 levels by reducing oil production by more than 1 million barrels per day.

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OPEC members are meeting to agree on their response to recent declines in oil prices.

His Iraqi counterpart, Thamir Ghadhban, said: "I am optimistic that the agreement will stabilize the market, will stop the slide in the price (of oil)".

The increase alone is equivalent to the output of major OPEC producer United Arab Emirates.

"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted", he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Trump has repeatedly accused the oil cartel of keeping prices artificially high. But Washington gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year. "We have to get the non-OPEC countries on board".

Possibly complicating any Opec decision is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. "Being too cautious on the words, to please President Trump, runs however the risk of diluting the message", said Olivier Jakob from Petromatrix consultancy.

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