OPEC discusses output cut, sending prices higher


Vienna—The OPEC oil cartel held
tense talks Wednesday to try to agree its first output cut in eight years, sending oil prices soaring on hopes it will defy gloomy expectations.
Brent North Sea crude for January delivery jumped $3.83 to $50.21, the first time it has risen above $50 in a month. West Texas Intermediate won $3.59 to $48.82 per barrel, the highest level in a week.
As OPEC ministers began their meeting, Khaled al-Falih, energy minister of the cartel’s biggest producer Saudi Arabia, sounded an upbeat note.
“We don’t know (if a deal will be reached),” he said. “We will find out during the meeting. I think the sentiment generally is optimistic and positive.”
In comments likely directed at Iraq and regional rival Iran, more reticent about reducing the flow of crude, Falih said that cuts have to be shared around OPEC “in an equitable way”.
Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said he was “very optimistic we’re going to come with very fruitful results… There will be a cut, yes, definitely,” Bloomberg News reported. AFP