US Becomes Net Oil Exporter For First Time In 75 Years

Oil Edges Up After Saudi Dithering on Cuts Sends Prices SwingingMore

Iran is now subject to US sanctions and as such won't participate in any curbs, the country's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh said.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that a deal gets done, but the devil will be in the detail", said Mohammad Darwazah, a director at Medley Global Advisers.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia urged OPEC and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, or 1.3 percent of global production. Production at 11.7 million bpd is more than what each of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia pumped in November, although the Saudis are also expected to have reached record highs in their production last month.

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

"I don't need approval from any foreign state when it comes to the issue of energy production", the top official said as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The Saudi energy minister has cast doubt on the prospect of Opec announcing a cut in output tomorrow after admitting he was "not confident" a deal would be reached.

He tweeted Wednesday that "Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted".

Oil prices were pressured by a weekly report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that said United States crude inventories rose by 5.4 million barrels in the week to Nov 30, to 448 million barrels, in a sign that USA oil markets are in a growing glut. Another factor is surging United States production, which has reached record highs of 11.5mb/d, or more than a 10th of global output, a figure that is expected to rise further in 2019.

The cuts would take September or October 2018 as baseline figures and last from January to June, Oman's oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy said on Wednesday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are desperate to shore up oil prices after a slump of more than $20 a barrel since October. By some estimates, the USA this year became the world's top crude producer.

Iran is now subject to USA sanctions and as such won't participate in any curbs, the country's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said this week.

However, when oil producers realized the sanctions fell far short of what had been expected, fears of oversupply followed.

That left the oil market dangling in uncertainty before non-OPEC allies join the group for a second day of talks on Friday.

But a no-deal or an underwhelming agreement on Friday could send oil prices further down, potentially hurting production growth in the USA shale patch.

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. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many USA politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh. The market has been lower all day due to concern that planned production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be smaller than originally anticipated. "This is particularly important as the US President Donald Trump, who has called on the group to exercise price restraint, is watching the meeting closely".

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