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  • Russia's Transneft storage tank at the Ust-Luga Port, Russia on Feb. 26, 2018.

    Russia's Transneft storage tank at the Ust-Luga Port, Russia on Feb. 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 6 December 2018

The OPEC reunion is also framed by Qatar's surprise decision to leave the energy organization next January.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has made a planned cut in oil output effectively conditional on the contribution from Russia, delegates said Thursday, as the group gathered in Vienna for a meeting aimed at increasing oil prices.

RELATED:
OPEC to Reduce Oil Output To Stabilize World Crude Prices

The energy group is waiting for news from Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who will be in Vienna Friday to communicate Moscow's final share in the global oil output reduction.

"I am optimistic. There will be a deal, but it is unclear how much OPEC and how much non-OPEC will contribute. It is still under discussion," one delegate said.

OPEC members, 15 nations comprising the intergovernmental entity, are willing to reduce the global oil supply - which will drive oil prices up - despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to keep oil prices low. "Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" Trump wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

The global cut output could reach one million barrels per day (bpd) if Russia commits to contributing 150,000 bpd of that share.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia wants OPEC and non-OPEC countries to curb output by at least 1.3 million bpd, which amounts to 1.3 percent of global production.

The Vienna meeting was preceded by oil price volatility in recent months. The Brend crude price, for example, dropped from US$86 at the beginning of October to US$61.69 in Dec. 5.

The OPEC reunion is also framed by Qatar's surprise decision to leave the energy organization next January.

On the other hand, the conference is expected to confirm that Venezuela will assume the rotating annual presidency of OPEC in 2019. Venezuela's oil minister Manuel Quevedo held a preparatory working meeting with OPEC President Suhail Al Mazrouei Wednesday.

Venezuela's strategy, during the country's presidency, is expected to aim at stabilizing oil production and expanding bilateral trade relations among OPEC members.

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