By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler
DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC and its partners are discussing a proposal to cut oil output by up to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) for 2019, three sources familiar with the issue said, to avert an oversupply that would weaken prices.
Worried by a drop in oil prices and rising supplies, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is talking again of reducing production just months after increasing it. The group meets on Dec. 6 to set policy for 2019.
A supply cut of up to 1.4 million bpd was one of the options discussed by energy ministers from Saudi Arabia, non-OPEC Russia and other nations at a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the sources said.
“I believe a cut of 1.4 million bpd is more reasonable than above it or below it,” one of the sources, who declined to be identified by name as the talks are confidential, said.
OPEC member Iran, as well as Russia, would need to be brought on board for the new plan, the sources added. One source said Iran does not want to have a production target in a new agreement as it is facing lower exports due to U.S. sanctions.
Together with Russia and other non-OPEC producers, OPEC had agreed in June to boost supply after pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to lower prices, partially unwinding output cuts that began in January 2017.
(Editing by Louise Heavens)