Trump asks OPEC not to cut production

Lloyd Doyle
December 6, 2018

Brian Hook, the USA special representative for Iran, met one-on-one with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday morning in the Austrian capital, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks were private.

Ardabili says any meaningful cuts in production must be made by the countries which have pumped above their quotas in breach of a 2007 deal between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.

OPEC meets in Vienna on Thursday to weigh production and on Friday will hold talks with allies such as Russian Federation.

Hook's meeting with the Saudi minister came as Riyadh has indicated a need for steep reductions in output from January but has come under pressure from US President Donald Trump, who has urged Saudis to refrain from output cuts in order to keep oil prices low.

Saudi Arabia sought to persuade Russian Federation on Wednesday to cut oil production substantially with OPEC next year in an attempt to arrest a decline in the price of crude and prevent another global glut.

Iranian oil minister has lashed out at U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook over his "meddlesome" meetings with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, asserting that OPEC is an independent body that does not take orders from the US.

"We had to grant oil waivers to ensure that we did not increase the price of oil", Hook told reporters on Monday on a flight to Brussels.

"We have taken over 1 million bpd off Iran's export list and many more barrels will be coming off very soon", the diplomat said at a briefing.

When President Trump announced his decision to pull the USA out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, many oil producers ramped-up production over fears of the effects the sanctions would have on trading.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the president warned OPEC against restricting oil flows and said the world does not want to see higher oil prices.

Washington also gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year.

During Thursday's meeting, OPEC leaders are expected to discuss how to stabilize crude oil production after USA prices plunged by 22-percent in November - making it the worst month since the financial crisis in 2008.

Possibly complicating any OPEC decision is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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