Oil prices firm as market awaits Opec meeting results

Oil prices have settled nearly flat amidst unease ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting in Vienna

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, are reducing crude output until next March in an attempt to support prices by cutting a glut of crude on world markets.

A statement by the Director, Press Relations, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Idang Alibi, said the endorsement was given by at a meeting of OPEC's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee on Friday in Vienna.

Nigeria, which along with Libya is now exempt from the supply-reduction deal, reiterated that it would cap output once its production stabilises around 1.8 million barrels a day.

Ahead of an OPEC meeting on Friday in Vienna, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu signaled a willingness to extend cuts into next year. Nine months into their agreement, implementation of the pledged 1.8 million barrels a day of production cuts remains high.

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Brent crude for December delivery traded above $56 a barrel Thursday, its highest level since February and up more than 25% since June, according to Bloomberg News. "We will monitor closer to the end of the agreement, when it would be possible to discuss it more".

The oil price has gained more than 15 percent in the last three months, the strongest performance since late 2004.

Many analysts expect OPEC to extend the deal, perhaps until the end of next year. In particular, we continue to view that while the decision to cut production to normalize inventories was rational, this strategy should be followed by a gradual increase in production to capture increasing market share and revenues in 2018.

Speaking at the opening of a meeting of some OPEC and non-OPEC ministers, he said oil market fundamentals were normalizing.

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Exports of refined products (gasoline, diesel fuel, etc.) rose to almost 4.5 million barrels a day last week.

USA crude inventories rose for a third straight week, by 4.6 million barrels in the week ending September 15, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

Both countries had seen their oil output decline steeply due to months and years of domestic strife, respectively. Obviously we will not produce that.

The Venezuelan minister of Oil, Eulogio del Pino, highlighted the importance of cooperation between producer countries and valued as necessary to eliminate the control of the oil market by speculators.

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At this its 5th meeting, the JMMC welcomed the participation of Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, and the reaffirmation of their commitment to ensure the success of the Declaration of Cooperation.

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