OPEC tries to sal­vage deal on pro­duc­tion cuts; Saudis say it isn’t es­sen­tial

Baltimore Sun - - BUSINESS MARYLAND - — Bloomberg News

OPEC min­is­ters flew to Moscow and of­fi­cials in Vi­enna started another round of talks in an ef­fort to sal­vage an agree­ment on pro­duc­tion cuts, just as Saudi Ara­bia said a deal might not be nec­es­sary.

With only two days to go be­fore min­is­ters from the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries try to fi­nal­ize the first pro­duc­tion de­crease in eight years, the foun­da­tions for a deal look shaky. A fi­nal round of diplo­macy fo­cused on in­ter­nal di­vi­sions over how to share the cuts and Rus­sian re­sis­tance to re­duc­ing sup­ply, which al­ready forced the can­cel­la­tion of cru­cial talks with non-OPEC sup­pli­ers.

Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi oil min­is­ter, for the first time on Sun­day floated the pos­si­bil­ity of leav­ing Vi­enna with­out an agree­ment. With­out an OPEC cut, the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency pre­dicts that the oil mar­ket will re­main in sur­plus for a fourth year in 2017, which could cause prices to fall.

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