* Prices slumped almost 4 percent the session before
* Iran, Iraq resist Saudi pressure to cut output
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Nov 30 Oil markets were jittery on
Wednesday ahead of an OPEC meeting later in the day, with
members of the producer cartel trying to thrash out an output
cut to curb oversupply that has seen prices more than halve
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at
$45.38 a barrel at 0019 GMT, up 35 percent from their last
International Brent crude futures were yet to trade.
Traders said that the market was extremely nervous, and that
prices could swing either way quickly depending on developments
at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting
Oil dropped nearly 4 percent the previous session over
disputes between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq regarding details
of the planned output cut.
"At the moment, a deal to limit oil production looks bleak
and oil prices are reflecting that view. But OPEC is known for
leaving things to the last minute," said Fawad Razaqzada,
analyst at brokerage Forex.com.
"Expect to see lots of noise, then a big price move in oil
prices tomorrow, because ultimately one camp will be proven
wrong. Will it be the buyers or the sellers?"
Razaqzada said that should OPEC come to an agreement, then
oil prices would likely rise above $50 per barrel, and if the
group failed to agree anything, prices would fall towards,
though unlikely below, $40 per barrel.
Iran and Iraq are resisting pressure from Saudi Arabia to
curtail oil production, making it hard for the group to reach a
deal to limit output.
On Tuesday, tensions rose after Iran wrote to OPEC saying it
wanted Saudi Arabia to cut production by as much as 1 million
barrels per day (bpd), much more than Riyadh is willing to
offer, OPEC sources who saw the letter told Reuters.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters upon
arrival at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna that his country was
not prepared to reduce output: "We will leave the level of
production (where) we decided in Algeria."
OPEC, which accounts for a third of global oil production,
made a preliminary agreement in Algiers in September to cap
output around 32.5-33 million bpd versus the current 33.64
million bpd to prop up prices.
At the time, OPEC said it would exempt Iran, Libya and
Nigeria from cuts as their output had been crimped by unrest and
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)