Oil prices fall on swelling glut, economic growth concerns

Oil prices skid amid global stock market slump, swelling US supply

Trump asks OPEC not to cut production

The 15-member organization of oil producing countries is meeting in Vienna and will then hold talks with allied non-OPEC partners on Friday.

Iran is suffering both as a result of lower prices and a decline in its oil exports because of the U.S. sanctions. The cuts would take September or October 2018 as baseline figures and last from January to June.

The slide in U.S. oil followed a tumble in global stock markets on Tuesday and Wednesday, with investors anxious about the threat of a widespread economic slowdown.

Brent oil futures fell 3 percent to below $60 per barrel on fears that there could be no deal and as traders and OPEC watchers said a cut of 1 million bpd was below expectations. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was also down three percent at $51.33.

Opec's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has indicated it wants the organisation and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million bpd, or 1.3% of global production.

Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russian Federation insists the quantity should be only half of that, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said.

OPEC and its allies are working towards cutting oil output by up to 1.5 million barrels per day but could fail to reach a deal if no compromise is found with non-OPEC Russia, the Saudi energy minister said on Thursday. If Russia contributed around 250,000 bpd, the overall cut could exceed 1.3 million bpd.

The Middle East-dominated Opec plans to cut output despite pressure from US President Donald Trump to support the global economy by keeping oil prices low. While Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest producer, will shoulder most of the burden, the kingdom wants commitments from other countries before completing a final deal.

Oil prices have fallen by nearly a third since October to around $62 per barrel after Saudi Arabia raised production to make up for the drop in Iranian exports.

Trump, who has made the US economy one of his top issues, has frequently complained about OPEC this year, as higher crude oil prices have in turn raised fuel prices for consumers and businesses.

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. "The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" said Trump, who has repeatedly accused the cartel of keeping prices artificially high.

"We don't need permission from anyone to cut", he said.

Ross explained that "Trump is anxious about the Fed and inflation. Also if Saudis are obnoxious with a deep output cut, it will spur the Democrats in Congress to go more actively for the Nopec legislation and the withdrawal of USA support for the Saudi-backed forces in the war in Yemen".

"If Mr. Hook has come to Vienna to apply for USA membership in OPEC, and this is the reason why he meets OPEC members, the request can be reviewed", Zanganeh told SHANA.

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