Oil dives 4 percent after OPEC delays output decision

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil fell more than 4 percent in choppy trading on Thursday after OPEC and allied exporting countries ended a meeting without announcing a decision to cut crude output, and prepared to debate the matter the next day.

The logo of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna to decide production policy in coordination with other countries including Russia, Oman and Kazakhstan.

An OPEC delegate said the organization had agreed on a tentative deal to cut oil output but had not come up with a final figure.

Earlier, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC needed Russia to cooperate, and said a decision was likely by Friday evening.

“If everybody is not willing to join and contribute equally, we will wait until they are,” al-Falih said.

Market watchers had expected a joint cut of 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd).

Brent crude futures were down $2.57, or 4.2 percent, on the day to $58.99 a barrel by 11:41 EST (1641 GMT), off the session low of $58.36. U.S. crude futures fell $2.37, or 4.5 percent, to $50.52 a barrel, bouncing off the session low of $50.08 a barrel.

The crude benchmarks have slumped about 30 percent this quarter.

Prices found support briefly after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles declined last week for the first time in 11 weeks. The United States became a net exporter of crude and refined products

Keep reading this article on Reuters Business.

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