Heading to OPEC, UAE says backs output cut extension

"Both parties underscored the importance of further expanding direct dialogue between Indian companies and their counterparts in OPEC member countries, particularly in the downstream, to help meet the ever-growing demand for oil in India", OPEC said in a statement.

Iraq and Iran posed the main obstacles to OPEC in reaching a deal for its last output cutting decision in December.

Iraq, where oil revenues make up almost 95 percent of the budget, has been reeling under an economic crisis since 2014, when oil prices began plummeting from a high of over $100 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia have been pushing to extend the cuts by nine months until March 2018.

Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said on Tuesday that OPEC was discussing a possible nine-month extension, with curbs kept at the same level as under the group's existing deal. The supply reductions were initially meant to last six months from January, but the slower-than-expected decline in surplus fuel inventories prompted the group to consider an extension.

Volatility has dominated the commodity in recent weeks, with the latest statistics from the usa shale industry showing another huge surge in production.

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OPEC and other oil producers are on course to agree an extension of supply cuts at a meeting on Thursday, with Saudi Arabia saying most participants are on board with the plan to rein in a global supply glut.

The U.S. strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), the world's biggest, now stand around 688 million barrels, a week's worth of global oil demand.

OPEC, Pradhan said, should treat Asian markets as primary markets. That would put about 74,000 bpd of additional oil into the market, a fraction of current US production of 9.3 million bpd.

"The United States definitely don't need as much SPR as they have now lower imports", said Amrita Sen of the consultancy Energy Aspects, noting that the drive to reduce the SPR had started under former President Barack Obama. Al-Falih achieved a notable success toward that goal on Monday when he secured the support of Iraq after a last-minute - and rare - trip to Baghdad. Separately, non-OPEC nations Oman and Mexico also confirmed their support for a nine-month extension. That's 6.2% higher than the price reached on the day of OPEC's last meeting on November 30.

"I think the market is down on the SPR news, but I think the impact should be short lived", said Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd.in London. However, in a press conference held shortly after 12 p.m. ET, Luaibi said he agreed it was necessary to carry over the deal for another nine months.

"We all know that the production cut is an attempt to arrest the slide in prices, however, it also has an inherent chance of under investment and consumer's needs not being met in the long run", Pradhan said in a statement.


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