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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OPEC Meets on Oil Cuts




VIENNA, Austria -- OPEC oil ministers, alarmed by hefty revenue losses, began an emergency meeting Monday to approve output cuts agreed with other producers to try to raise fragile prices.


The cartel responsible for 40 percent of world supply appeared on course to confirm an agreement to contribute to a 2 percent cut in global output to lift prices that touched nine-year lows earlier this year.


Kuwaiti and Libyan ministers told reporters moments before the meeting that members would confirm an agreement to make cuts of around 1.25 million barrels per day, a level envisaged in a groundbreaking accord with noncartel producers.


Prospects that the agreement would hold good brightened when Iran confirmed for the first time that its planned reductions would make a physical impact on the market.


The accord agreed to by Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and non-OPEC Mexico in Riyadh on March 22 has drawn support from all 11 OPEC members, bar Iraq, plus Oman, Egypt and Yemen, as well as Norway.


Non-OPEC countries have pledged cuts of 270,000 bpd on top of OPEC's 1.25 million bpd promised reduction.


Norway, the world's biggest exporter after Saudi Arabia, boosted market sentiment earlier by declaring it would cut output by 100,000 bpd as part of non-OPEC contributions to total pledged cuts of 1.5 million bpd.


But markets showed no sign of being easily impressed with the likely final shape of the pact, and some analysts said the landmark accord may have raised traders' expectations too high.


Benchmark Brent crude, which had risen earlier on news of Norway's contribution to the cuts, later slumped 60 cents to $14.79.