The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and major oil producers lead by Russian Federation are expected to agree on Thursday on price-boosting output cuts.
Iran is now subject to US sanctions and as such won't participate in any curbs, the country's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said this week. US President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to place "major tariffs" on Chinese goods imported into the United States if his administration didn't reach a desirable deal with Beijing. The cuts would take September or October 2018 as baseline figures and last from January to June.
Oil prices were pressured by a weekly report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that said U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.4 million barrels in the week to November 30, to 448 million barrels, in a sign that United States oil markets are in a growing glut.
WTI was trading down 0.08% at 2:24pm EST at $53.21, with Brent crude falling 0.16% to $61.98.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Thursday reducing production by one million barrels per day would be enough for OPEC Plus.
Russia's oil giant Lukoil said it's ready to cut production if the upcoming meeting results in a deal to prop up prices, the company's CEO Vagit Alekperov told reporters, according to TASS news agency.
Oil fell on Wednesday as a swelling supply glut and signs of an economic slowdown weighed on crude prices a day ahead of an OPEC meeting at which the producer club is expected to decide supply cuts.
The move has frustrated many producers, prompting Qatar to announce that it was quitting OPEC to focus on gas in a swipe at Saudi Arabia.
Oil prices have crashed by nearly a third since October to around $60 per barrel as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports.
Trump is publicly in favor of low oil prices and urged Riyadh, at OPEC's final meeting of the calendar year, to drive crude futures even lower.
"Hopefully, OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted". The reason the United States is pressuring OPEC in general to maintain high levels of production is the United States generally would like a lower price of oil. But they didn't discuss how big any cuts should be, he said.
Ross explained that "Trump is anxious about the Fed and inflation".
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday he would support a cut as long as Iran didn't need to reduce its own output.
OPEC members are meeting to agree on their response to recent declines in oil prices.