U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 5 called on OPEC and its allies not to cut oil production next year, saying it would trigger higher oil prices worldwide.
"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" Trump wrote in a tweet ahead of the group's meeting this week to discuss possible cuts.
OPEC meets in Vienna on Dec. 6 to weigh production and on Dec. 7 will hold talks with allies such as Russia. Official U.S. government oil production and inventory data are also due on the same day.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, has pressed for steep output reductions but has faced pressure from Trump to keep oil flows steady to keep prices low, rather than reduce inventory.
Trump, who has made the U.S. economy one of his top issues, has frequently complained about OPEC this year, as higher crude oil prices have in turn raised fuel prices for consumers and businesses.
Russia's TASS news agency reported Dec. 5 that OPEC and its partners may return production quotas to 2016 levels by reducing oil production by more than 1 million barrels per day. Oil markets rose ahead of the meeting.
OPEC and other producers including Russia have gradually tightened supply through 2019 to reduce a global glut. OPEC and its partners may not renew the curbs when they expire after June because of the risk of over-tightening the market.
OPEC sources said there were conflicting views on the significance of the Russian outage, and that the complexity of Russia's pipeline system meant the issue was not straightforward.
Pundits weigh in on whether the stars will align for a successful 2019 and how the oil and gas industry can navigate the headwinds and tailwinds ahead.