Oil prices surge as producers cut output

Azmin said this in a statement issued following the fifth Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non Opec Ministerial Meeting in Vienna

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Oil prices had been on a steady upward trajectory after the USA exited the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) in May, aided by the previous period of OPEC output restraint.

USA oil prices have sagged since hitting a four-year high near $76 a barrel in October.

"Refinery runs ticked a little lower, but still remain almost half a million barrels per day above year-ago levels".

Amid sharp differences over which way to go, the oil market continued under pressure. Brent crude jumped to $63.04 per barrel at 14:08 GMT on Friday, while USA crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) surged to $53.85 a barrel.

The kingdom's diplomatic position however has been badly weakened by the furore over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The talks had earlier hit an impasse because Saudi Arabia refused to agree to an exemption for Iran, OPEC sources told Reuters.

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"Accordingly, the price outlook for the coming few months still remains skewed to the downside despite today's knee-jerk reaction". The end result may be a muddled middle course that neither stabilizes the price of oil nor mollifies a US leader obsessed with keeping gasoline cheap. Brian Hook, an American diplomat handling Iran sanctions, was spotted by reporters leaving the Hyatt Hotel in Vienna, where he'd had breakfast with Al-Falih.

"What changed with the premier's announcement is now there's confidence that the market will be balanced with the cuts that are being made in the first quarter and the increase in crude-by-rail", said Jackie Forrest, research director for the ARC Energy Research Institute in Calgary.

Initially, the Kremlin refused to scale back its own output at the meeting in Vienna, and Russian envoy Alexander Novak had to rush back to Moscow for talks. Prices peaked at above $76 in early October but had plummeted to about $50 ahead of this week's OPEC meeting.

The oil producers will use October production as the benchmark level for implementing the production cuts, and review the decision in April 2019, Bloomberg reported.

He added that Malaysia views highly its collaboration with other oil-producing countries to strengthen cooperation between members of Opec and non-Opec countries to face challenges posed by the global market.

"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted".

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Global markets are awash with oil.

The US government is done selling off strategic reserves for now.

Oil workers adjust a pipe section at the turntable on a derrick during drilling operations in an oilfield. Though the liquid commodity staged a rebound at first, surging US supplies and softer-than-expected USA sanctions against Iran's energy sector pushed the commodity into the bear market recently. However, it still wields enormous influence, analysts say. By some estimates, the US this year became the world's top crude producer.

The cartel and its partners agreed to remove 1.2 million barrels a day from the market, with OPEC itself shouldering 800,000 barrels of the burden.

The EIA's short-term energy outlook issued Tuesday forecast an average 2018 WTI price of $65.18 a barrel, down 2.4% from the November report's forecast. But the details of the quota for each member state are not given. Market tension intensified after the arrest of Huawei Technologies's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou , in Canada at the request of the U.S.

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