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Anxiety over OPEC Cuts Weighs on Oil

Oil prices have risen by more than 20% since September on the back of expectations for a deal extension.

Oil prices fell Tuesday morning amid market jitters over whether—and for how long—OPEC and Russia will agree to extend their deal to curb crude production when they convene later this week.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.74%, at $62.91 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.93%, at $57.57 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet Thursday in Vienna, where the main issue of debate will be production cuts. OPEC is already holding negotiations with Russia and other producers over a potential extension to an agreement that has reduced the global oil supply by nearly 2% over the past year.

OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed a year ago to cap their production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels in an effort to rein in the global oil glut and boost prices. The deal, which was extended in May, is set to expire in March 2018.

Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Wealth Management, said it remains unclear whether there is agreement among all the participants to extend the deal for a full nine months—through the end of 2018—as the market has been hoping.

Mr. Staunovo said other key issues to watch for include signals about an “exit strategy” from the deal and whether the cartel will push for Libya and Nigeria to be included in a further extension of the production cuts. Those two countries were exempt from the original agreement because their oil industries had been disrupted by civil unrest.

“As OPEC/non-OPEC discussions are already taking place here in Vienna, we believe that the most likely outcome of the Thursday meeting will be a prolongation of the deal for another 6-9 months,” analysts at consultancy JBC Energy wrote in a note Tuesday.

Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd, said “anything less than a nine-month extension on Thursday will leave oil bulls disappointed and could lead to a serious exodus.”

Oil prices have risen by more than 20% since September on the back of expectations for a deal extension, as well as a newfound geopolitical risk premium.

Among refined products, Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock—the benchmark gasoline contract—was up 0.24%, at $1.79 a gallon. ICE gas oil, a benchmark for diesel fuel, changed hands at $563.75 a metric ton, down 0.09% from the previous settlement.

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Parvin Faghfouri Azar
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Anxiety over OPEC Cuts Weighs on Oil

Oil prices have risen by more than 20% since September on the back of expectations for a deal extension.
Parvin Faghfouri Azar
Oil prices fell Tuesday morning amid market jitters over whether—and for how long—OPEC and Russia will agree to extend their deal to curb crude production when they convene later this week.Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.74%, at $62.91 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.93%, at $57.57 a barrel.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet Thursday in Vienna, where the main issue of debate will be production cuts. OPEC is already holding negotiations with Russia and other producers over a potential extension to an agreement that has reduced the global oil supply by nearly 2% over the past year.OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed a year ago to cap their production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels in an effort to rein in the global oil glut and boost prices. The deal, which was extended in May, is set to expire in March 2018.Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Wealth Management, said it remains unclear whether there is agreement among all the participants to extend the deal for a full nine months—through the end of 2018—as the market has been hoping.Mr. Staunovo said other key issues to watch for include signals about an “exit strategy” from the deal and whether the cartel will push for Libya and Nigeria to be included in a further extension of the production cuts. Those two countries were exempt from the original agreement because their oil industries had been disrupted by civil unrest.“As OPEC/non-OPEC discussions are already taking place here in Vienna, we believe that the most likely outcome of the Thursday meeting will be a prolongation of the deal for another 6-9 months,” analysts at consultancy JBC Energy wrote in a note Tuesday.Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd, said “anything less than a nine-month extension on Thursday will leave oil bulls disappointed and could lead to a serious exodus.”Oil prices have risen by more than 20% since September on the back of expectations for a deal extension, as well as a newfound geopolitical risk premium.Among refined products, Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock—the benchmark gasoline contract—was up 0.24%, at $1.79 a gallon. ICE gas oil, a benchmark for diesel fuel, changed hands at $563.75 a metric ton, down 0.09% from the previous settlement.
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