President Trump pressuring OPEC to increase oil production ahead of crucial meeting

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna Austria

During Thursday's meeting, OPEC leaders are expected to discuss how to stabilize crude oil production after US prices plunged by 22-percent in November - making it the worst month since the financial crisis in 2008.

The oil market reacted negatively, dropping 52 cents to $61.56 a barrel in London.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday to decide its production policy.

Trump's comment came as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil-producing nations prepared to meet Thursday and Friday, December 6-7, in Vienna to discuss lowering their output.

Moscow has shown willingness to cooperate with OPEC to cut oil production.

Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russian Federation insists the quantity should be only half of that, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports due to new US sanctions.

The deal is monitored by the Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), which is dominated by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.

Iran is suffering both as a result of lower prices and a decline in its oil exports because of the U.S. sanctions.

Oil prices have fallen by nearly a third since October to around $62 per barrel after Saudi Arabia raised production to make up for the drop in Iranian exports.

Oil prices were pressured by a weekly report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that said U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.4 million barrels in the week to Nov 30, to 448 million barrels, in a sign that U.S. oil markets are in a growing glut.

The United States is not part of any output-limiting initiative due to its strict anti-trust legislation and fragmented oil industry.

The production surge took place in the run-up to Trump's pledge to sanction Iran's oil sector on November 4 and later decide to give waivers to some customers. Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

That has put OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in a delicate position - Riyadh is keen not to incur Trump's wrath as relations between the two countries become increasingly complicated in the wake of the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many USA politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.

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