Oil prices slide as Trump urges OPEC not to cut supply

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The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has made a planned cut in oil production effectively conditional on the contribution from non-Opec producer Russian Federation, delegates said on Thursday as the group gathered in Vienna for a meeting aimed at supporting battered oil prices.

The uncertainty over possible production cuts caused oil prices to dip on Wednesday as investors wait on a decision. Iran, too, is a wildcard in the production cut talks, with its oil minister staunchly refusing to negotiate any production cuts for as long as the country remains under U.S. Sanctions.

According to Reuters, al-Falih said all options were on the table if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to reach a deal: The organization and its allies could cut output anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

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

Oil prices fell 1 percent on Wednesday, weighed down by swelling USA inventories and a plunge in global stock markets as China's government warned of increasing economic headwinds.

Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's crude oil production has risen by 4.1 percent since mid-2018, to 33.31 million barrels per day (bpd).

PRICE Futures Group's Phil Flynn on the outlook for oil prices. More broadly, the slide in USA oil followed a tumble in global stock markets on Tuesday, with investors anxious about the threat of a widespread economic slowdown.

One issue that might complicate relations between the USA and OPEC is the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi by people linked to the government in Riyadh.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih, OPEC's de-facto leader, has in recent weeks travelled to Libya and Nigeria to press them on the exemptions, though no public commitments have been announced.

The US "is not in a position to tell us what to do", he added. 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.

The country wants to focus more on that natural resource, of which it's now already the world's biggest exporter with about 30 percent of global production.

Qatar shares the world's largest known natural gas field, the North Field, with Iran.

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