Oil prices edge up ahead of OPEC meeting to discuss output cuts

Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:45am EST
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By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices were slightly higher on Thursday ahead of next week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss implementation of its proposed cap on production.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 12 cents at $49.07 a barrel at 1501 GMT (10:01 a.m. ET). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose 9 cents to $48.05.

Traders said market activity was low because of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and there was a reluctance to take on big price bets amid uncertainty about the planned OPEC-led production cut.

OPEC is due to meet on Nov. 30 to coordinate the cut agreed in Algiers in September, potentially with the cooperation of Russia, which is not a member of the group.

Russia could revise down its 2017 oil production plans if a global output freeze comes into force, effectively cutting output by 200,000-300,000 barrels per day (bpd), Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

OPEC will probably propose that other producers cut production by 880,000 bpd for six months starting from Jan. 1, Azerbaijan Energy Minister Natig Aliyev was reported as saying in Azeri newspaper Respublika on Thursday.

But an OPEC source told Reuters that OPEC has yet to make a final proposal to non-OPEC countries on joint production cuts, which will be discussed on Nov. 28 in Vienna.

Novak also disputed the 880,000 bpd figure and said that OPEC had earlier proposed that non-OPEC countries cut output by 500,000 bpd.   Continued...

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at Al-Sheiba oil refinery in the southern Iraq city of Basra, Iraq, April 17, 2016. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo