Oil & Gas
Oil prices drop ahead of OPEC meeting
The price of benchmark crude oil has fallen almost 4% as traders question whether OPEC can agree on a deal to limit production.
In September the oil exporting cartel members voted for the first production cut in eight years.
Details of the agreement are due to be finalised at a formal OPEC meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.
But key OPEC members appear to disagree over the plan and some analysts believe the meeting may not produce a deal.
Indonesian Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan said he was not sure OPEC would manage to forge an agreement: “I don’t know. Let’s see. The feeling today is mixed.”
Brent crude oil was down $1.76 per barrel at $46.48, and US crude was down $1.80 at $45.28.
Analysts at Barclays said: “Volatility is set to be high in the oil market in the days ahead.”
In-depth negotiations will be needed on Wednesday to cement a deal, Goldman Sachs analysts said.
“The latest headlines suggest that while there is a broad agreement on the rationale for a cut, political considerations and country level quota negotiations are so far preventing a deal from being reached,” Goldman Sachs said.
In September Opec pledged to limit production by about 700,000 barrels a day, although Iran was being allowed to increase production.
Disagreements between Iran and its regional rival, Saudi Arabia, had blocked earlier attempts to reach a deal.
Many of OPEC’s smaller members wanted limits after oil prices fell from $110 a barrel over the past two years after oversupply and slowing demand.
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