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Saudi Arabia's energy minister triggered the sell-off after he said a cut of 1 million barrels per day would be enough for OPEC and other major exporters.

Since early October, crude oil has lost around 30 percent of its value amid surging supply and fears that an economic downturn will erode fuel demand. The price of oil fell 22 per cent in November and was down again on Thursday amid speculation that OPEC's action might be too timid to support the market.

The 15-member organization and non-OPEC partners, including Russian Federation, will reportedly negotiate steep output reductions which could start in January.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to agree to cut oil production at a meeting aimed at supporting oil prices.

His comments were echoed by his Nigeriancounterpart.

Brent and WTI have averaged US$72.80 and US$66.10 per barrel so far this year.

Zangeneh said the estimated surplus now on the market amounted to 1.3 to 2.4 million barrels per day.

A day of preliminary talks in the Austrian capital on Wednesday concluded with a panel led by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation recommending an output reduction lasting six months, but the committee didn't discuss how big any cuts should be.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that "Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted".

"To stabilise prices, 1mb/d would be enough", said Ann-Louise Hittle of oil and gas analysts Wood Mackenzie, speaking from Vienna.

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Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia is in a delicate position, in the wake of the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"While the large crude oil inventory drop was notable, the surge in exports of crude oil to over 3 million barrels per day was remarkable", said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in NY.

Al-Falih also said that all options are on the table, including not reaching an agreement.

According to Reuters, five unnamed delegates said ahead of the meeting that the group's preferred level of supply cuts would effectively be conditional on Moscow's contribution.

Experts say this week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will influence the price of oil over the coming months.

"The oil cut will be between 1.0 and 1.3 million bpd".

"The stakes are high now for OPEC".

"We're looking for a sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries", Falih said. By some estimates, the US this year became the world's top crude producer.

The US, not a member of OPEC but a significant oil producer itself, has repeatedly called for oil prices to stay low, with Trump using Twitter several times to make the point. In preparatory meetings ahead of this week's summit, delegates had said a cut of as much as 1.3 million barrels a day next year is needed as demand growth slows and US shale production surges.

"They should know that OPEC is not part of their Secretary of Energy", said its minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.


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