By Dan Strumpf
Oil futures eased in Asian trade Monday, as fresh doubts emerged over the prospect of a production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
A meeting of officials from Iran and Iraq on Friday ended without an agreement between the two sides on how the cartel would carry out a proposed production. The meeting was supposed to result in a detailed proposal over how the cuts would take place, but it instead dragged on for more than 12 hours, with neither nation agreeing to cuts.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at $48.50 a barrel, down 20 cents in the Globex electronic session. December Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange fell 24 cents to $49.47 a barrel.
Friday's meeting was the latest stumble by the production cartel following an agreement in principle reached in September to cut output. An oil glut, fueled in part by OPEC's inability to corral production time after time, has kept oil prices low for the last two years.
Still, with the next OPEC gathering set for Nov. 30, producing nations still have time to hammer out the details of how they might cut production, said Stuart Ive, private client manager at OM Financial.
"For now we're just easing back from these highs," he said. "The point here is that the talks remain in play."
Oil prices have rallied to above $50 a barrel in the wake of the September agreement in principle by the oil cartel. But traders have pushed prices lower in the past week amid deepening uncertainty over the viability of a deal. Recently, several OPEC members have called for exemptions from proposed cuts.
The cartel has said it plans to reduce output bybetween 200,000 and 700,000 barrels a day to 32.5 million barrels a day in an effort to raise prices.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for November--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 56 points to $1.4635 a gallon, while November diesel traded at $0.0000, unchanged.
ICE gasoil for November changed hands at $455.25 a metric ton, down $6.25 from Friday's settlement.
Write to Dan Strumpf at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 31, 2016 00:05 ET (04:05 GMT)
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