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Crude oil prices remain sharply lower in volatile trading after OPEC members say they agreed to production cuts but must await Russia before making a final decision on the exact amount and the allocation: WTI -3.9% at $50.79/bbl, Brent -3.2% at $59.56/bbl.
Russian Energy Minister Novak flew to St. Petersburg from Vienna earlier to consult Pres. Putin and will return to the OPEC meeting for talks tomorrow.
Saudi Energy Minister al-Falih sent prices plummeting as much as 5% earlier after saying a production deal had not yet been reached.
A potential 1M bbl/day cut “may disappoint many but should the cut be from a September or October baseline, rather than November, the net impact would be sufficient to limit storage builds,” says Pimco’s Greg Sharenow. “It is unlikely to spark a meaningful price rally but also will not be so dire either. In many respects, it is the middle road, which may be the optimal solution.”