Oil

Brent Crude Oil Futures - Today's data summary

% change
-2.94%
Price dollars per barrel
59.86
Change
-1.81
As of 20:47 10 Dec 2018

WTI Crude Oil Futures - Today's data summary

% change
-3.44%
Price dollars per barrel
50.80
Change
-1.81
As of 20:45 10 Dec 2018

Latest updates

OPEC deal will support US drilling

Oil rig
Getty Images

There has been mainly favourable reaction to an oil production cut agreed by OPEC and its allies, including Russia.

So far there has been no word (or tweets) from US President Donald Trump who has been calling for Saudi Arabia, the largest member of OPEC, to keep a lid on oil prices.

However, Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at Wood Mackenzie, says: "The decision is likely to be met with support from some US producers who were concerned that without a deal, West Texas Intermediate prices would fall further, possibly curtailing 2019 drilling activity."

She adds that the 1.2 million barrels per day cut in daily oil output would cause Brent crude to rise back above $70.

Oil production cut to fix 'growing imbalance'

OPEC
Getty Images

Following a meeting at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, the group says that “in view of the current fundamentals and the consensus view of a growing imbalance in 2019" it will reduce output by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) from January.

The reduction will be for an initial period of six months, which will include a review in April.

Russia and other non-OPEC nations will also cut 400,000 bpd

OPEC members Iran, Venezuela and Libya are exempt from the cut.

Saudi Arabia, which is the largest member of OPEC, said it will reduce output to 10.2 million bpd in December from 10.7 million bpd in December.

Oil edges lower as Opec meets

Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the United Arab Emirates" energy minister and President of the Opec conference
EPA

Oil traders will be keeping an eye on events in Vienna today, where members of the oil producers club, Opec, are in the second and final day of talks.

On Thursday it seemed that the oil cartel had agreed to cut production, but reports today say that Iran is looking for an exemption from any production cuts.

Also Russia, which is not in Opec, has yet to commit to any cut in production, which would help drive up prices.

There might be more clarity this afternoon when Opec meeting non-Opec oil producers.

North Sea Brent Crude is trading 15 cents a barrel lower at $59.91 a barrel.

Oil prices stay in the red

Opec
Getty Images

Meanwhile, US crude prices remain down for the day.

West Texas Intermediate is off 2.15% at $51.53 a barrel. Brent crude is 2.23% lower at $60.14.

Prices are expected to volatile on Friday when OPEC holds a meeting with non-members, including Russia, in Vienna to potentially agree a production cut.

US exports more oil than it imports for the first time

Oil field
Getty Images

New data released on Thursday showed that last week America exported more crude oil than it imported - the first time this has happened, according to the US Energy Department whose figures go back to 1973.

Adding up all imports and exports of crude, the US exported a net 211,000 barrels per day in the week to 30 November.

Kyle Cooper, a consultant at ION Energy, asked: "So when does the US send a delegate to OPEC meetings?

"It's really quite amazing. I do think that will occur more and more often in coming years."

One million barrels or bust

Oil barrels
Getty Images

OPEC is yet to release any details of a plan to cut oil production, pending a meeting on Friday with the likes of Russia.

But a reduction of anything less than one million barrels per day (bpd) just isn't going to cut the mustard, according to Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research at Rystad Energy.

He says: "We believe a cut announcement that effectively removes anything less than one million bpd of 2019 supply would be interpreted negatively by the market."

Saudi 'not confident' of output cut deal

Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih
Reuters

When that was short-lived.

Oil prices are heading back down on reports that Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC is not confident of reaching an agreement with Russia to cut output during a meeting with non-OPEC on Friday.

"No, I am not confident," he said.

"We're still debating the distribution" of any possible cuts, he said.

Brent crude is down 3.93% at $59.14 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate is off 3.65% at $50.96.

Oil prices claw back ground

Oil prices have trimmed falls after OPEC said it had agreed to cut output.

However, the cartel is yet to release details on how much they will reduce production until a meeting with non-OPEC members, including Russia, on Friday.

Brent crude is now down 2.06% at $60.24 a barrel.

Brent crude price on Thursday
BBC
Brent crude price on Thursday

White West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is now down 1.97% at $51.62, resulting in this peculiar graphic of today's prices.

WTI price on Thursday
BBC
WTI price on Thursday