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His comments appeared to be a response to U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, who said last week that Iranian vessels would lose access to worldwide insurance markets under the U.S. sanctions and so would be a risk to ports and canals which allowed them access.

"In the short term, this is a positive for oil, but we must question the impact over the longer term unless it's the sign of more to come from OPEC", said Markets.com Market Analyst Neil Wilson.

The worry: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which includes Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Iran, and other non-Opec oil producers such as Russian Federation met in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to discuss oil cuts.

A decision is expected only when the OPEC and non-OPEC ministers meet in Vienna on December 5 to assess the global energy market.

The energy minister said: "There will need to be a reduction of supply from October levels approaching 1m barrels ..."

Brent crude dropped below United States dollars 70 a barrel on Friday for the first time since April while the New York's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) sank below USD 60 a barrel, a nine-month low.

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The crash deeply impacted oil producers, with Saudi Arabia's fiscal deficit rising to 16% of its GDP - meaning lesser money for infrastructure, defence, and its social projects such as free medicine for citizens and so on. "The committee reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements", it said in a statement.

"There is no consensus yet among oil producers about cutting production", Falih said.

Ahead of the meeting, he acknowledged that so far there was no new deal to cut production among OPEC and non-OPEC producers, who struck an agreement in late 2016 to cut output by 1.8 million bpd to tackle an oversupply crisis.

The military official also played down Washington's rhetoric and said the U.S. has time and again hurled such threats against Iran only to find that "they have never had nor will they have" any effect in the future.

In his speech at the start of the meeting, Falih said the recent sharp drop in prices had "surprised us". They worry that a continued fall in crude oil price will cause a 2014-16 style oil crash when oil price dropped 70%, in large part due to the USA shale oil boom.

An official from Kuwait, also an OPEC member, on Monday said that major oil exporters over the weekend had "discussed a proposal for some kind of cut in (crude) supply next year", although the official did not provide any detail. The market should be balanced by the middle of next year, though there are forecasts for a surplus of 1 million to 1.4 million barrels a day, he said.


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