OPEC To Extend Production Cuts For Nine Months

"It's likely we'll be balanced earlier than later", Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, said at the opening session of the group's meeting in Vienna. With prices likely to fall because of an oversupply in the market if they don't, both Russian Federation, and OPEC oil giant Saudi Arabia have spoken out in favor of an extension ahead of Thursday's meeting.

News of the nine-month extension starting emerging when Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy and industry oil minister told CNBC, "Nine months with the same level of production that our member countries have been producing at is a very safe and nearly certain option to do the trick".

Oil producers today made a decision to extended cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018, amidst a global glut of crude and rising USA shale gas production which saw prices more than halve in the past three years.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, relies on oil proceeds as its main revenue source. But any uptick in prices may be modest and temporary.

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US crude inventory data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration was broadly upbeat for producers, showing the lowest overhang since December 2014. At over $50 a barrel, benchmark crude sits substantially below the highs reached in 2014, but is priced high enough to bring back into the market U.S. producers who eased back as prices tumbled a year ago.

That could increase supplies and drag down prices again. The U.S. benchmark for crude was down $1.87 a barrel at $49.49.

"We have said we will do whatever is necessary", Mr Falih said before the meeting, adding that existing production curbs would, given time, prove "more than sufficient". Numerous producing countries rely heavily on energy revenues and have had to burn through foreign-currency reserves to plug holes in their budgets.

Asked whether Russian Federation was ready to reduce oil production by more than the current 300,000 barrels per day, Novak replied this depended on the goals that participating countries set for themselves.

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Rising U.S. production has limited the effectiveness of the earlier output deal, and any price bump from the latest deal could put renewed downward pressure on crude as shale companies rush to pump more oil. Ministers are scheduled to discuss the extension with non-member producers later on Thursday. This has slowed the market's rebalancing with global crude stocks still near record highs.

The agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries would be impossible without Russian Federation, al-Falih told reporters after the press conference. No new non-OPEC countries will be joining the pact, according a delegate familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public.

It has since maintained oil output levels at roughly 200,000 barrels per day since making the pledge.

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