Oman to attend OPEC meeting on November 30, supports oil cuts extension

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Since the beginning of the talks between oil producers about output reduction amid weak oil prices, Oman has been one of the staunch supporters for production cuts to arrest the fall in crude prices.

The non-OPEC group of producers-led by Russia-has pledged to take 558,000 bpd off the market, which, combined with OPEC's 1.2-million-bpd cut, is removing close to 1.8 million bpd off the market as the cartel and its partners in this deal are trying to prop up oil prices and shrink high global oil inventories.

This is coming as OPEC in its November oil market report released yesterday, increased the forecast for 2018 demand for its crude by 360,000 barrels per day, from last month's report to 33.42 million bpd.

Traders said crude prices were generally well supported as ongoing output cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation have contributed to a significant reduction in excess supplies that have been dogging markets since 2014.

UAE's energy minister said he saw no need for the decision to be delayed beyond the November 30 meeting in Vienna. "We are not going to meet in that quarter unless it is extraordinary", Mazroui said at an energy industry conference.

Crude oil stocks in the USA are seen down 2.850 million barrels, while distillates are expected to post a drop of 1.775 million barrels and gasoline inventories are seen down 1.025 million barrels.

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Brent crude futures settled down 36 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $63.16 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled up 2 cents a barrel at $56.76.

Additionally, traders said it was unclear whether a strong quake that hit Iran and Iraq on Sunday had affected the region's oil production.

Bahrain said over the weekend that an explosion which caused a fire at its main oil pipeline on Friday was caused by sabotage, linking the attack to Iran, which denied any role in the incident.

Oil prices settled mixed on Monday as geopolitical tension in Middle East offsets rising US output.

Oman's oil minister, Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhi, said on Monday that he is confident there will be an agreement among global oil producers later this month to extend output cuts.

Fitch Ratings said in its 2018 oil outlook that it assumed 2018 "average oil prices will be broadly unchanged year-on-year and that the recent price recovery with Brent exceeding $60 per barrel may not be sustained".

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