Oil tumbles most in two months amid OPEC accord scepticism

Oil dropped the most in more than two months on doubts the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will come to an accord to cut output as planned talks between producers inside and outside the group was cancelled. Futures fell 4.3 per cent in New York. Saudi Arabia on Friday pulled out of talks with non-OPEC producers including Russia scheduled for Monday as disagreements about how to share the burden of supply cuts stood in the way of a deal. The meeting was later abandoned entirely after the Saudi decision. OPEC ministers gather on November 30 in Vienna. Algeria’s Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa will travel to Tehran on Saturday in an effort to bring a deal closer, said a person familiar with the matter. The OPEC continues to make diplomatic efforts to get everyone on board with plans to cut production and drag the market out of a 2 1/2-year downturn. While Saudi Arabia is pushing for a reduction, Iran is insisting it should be allowed to keep increasing. Russia’s offer to freeze supply at record levels instead of cutting is also frustrating some members. OPEC members Libya and Nigeria are exempt from cuts and raising output. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery dropped $1.90 to $46.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the biggest decline since September 23. There was no settlement Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday, so all transactions were booked Friday. Total volume traded was about 21 per cent below the 100-day average. (Mark Shenk/Bloomberg)

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