By Amanda Cooper
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil fell in choppy trading on Thursday after OPEC ended a key meeting having made no decision on crude output, as it prepared to debate the matter with other exporters the next day.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna to decide its production policy in coordination with non-OPEC producers including Russia, Oman and Kazakhstan.
An OPEC delegate said the organization had agreed a tentative deal to cut oil output but had not yet come up with a final figure.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier that OPEC needed Russia to come on board with any cuts. He said a final decision by OPEC and its allies was likely by Friday evening.
Expectations had been for a joint cut of between 1 and 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd). Falih said before the meeting that the “OPEC+” group would be happy with a cut of just 1 million bpd.
Brent crude futures were down $2.07 on the day to $59.49 a barrel by 1532 GMT, having hit a session low of $58.36, while U.S. futures fell $1.38 to $51.51 a barrel.
The two have lost 30 percent in value this quarter alone.
“The real impact of the meeting will be evident tomorrow following the release of the OPEC+ joint declaration,” said Abhishek Kumar, Senior Energy Analyst at Interfax Energy
“Countries participating in the agreement will have to cut their combined output by at least 1 million bpd from the October 2018 level in order to have a meaningful bullish effect on oil prices.”
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