The Latest: OPEC backs 6-month oil production cut package


The Latest on the OPEC oil meeting (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

OPEC's president says the oil cartel in conjunction with non-OPEC producers including Russia have agreed to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day in January for six months.

Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, who is also the United Arab Emirates' energy minister, said at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Vienna, that the reduction is a "major step forward."

OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will cut production by 800,000 barrels a day while non-OPEC countries will trim 400,000.

Oil producers have been under pressure to reduce production following a sharp fall in oil prices over the past couple of months. The price of oil has fallen about 25 percent recently because major producers, including the U.S. which is not party to the agreement, are pumping oil at high rates.

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4 p.m.

Iraq's representative in OPEC says the oil cartel has agreed to a proposal that will see global oil production reduced by 1.2 million barrels a day.

According to Thamir Ghadhban, the proposed cut would be made up of 800,000 barrels per day from OPEC countries and 400,000 barrels from non-OPEC nations.

The proposed cut was in line with the 1 million to 1.3 million barrels per day expected by analysts.

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11:10 a.m.

OPEC countries are mulling a possible cut to oil production in an attempt to stabilize prices as they meet for a second straight day.

Heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been pushing a cut of about 1 million barrels a day, but the oil cartel was not able to make a decision on Thursday.

Analysts say they're likely waiting to hear from non-OPEC Russia to better coordinate the cut.

Heading in to Friday's meeting in Vienna, Nigerian Petroleum Minister Ibe Kachikwu told reporters he was "hopeful" the nations would be able to reach an agreement.

Ahead of the meeting Brent, the international standard, was down 59 cents at $59.47 a barrel while benchmark New York crude was 61 cents lower at $50.88.

Oil prices have fallen about 25 percent in recent months.


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