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Saudi oil minister says US is 'not in a position to tell us what to do'

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Staff Writer | December 7, 2018
The United States should not try to dictate policy to OPEC, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih has told reporters ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna.
Khalid al-Falih
Middle East   Minister Khalid al-Falih
"We don't need permission from anyone to cut," said Falih on Thursday.

The US "is not in a position to tell us what to do," the oil minister added, a day after US President Donald Trump urged the cartel to keep the taps open so as to push prices down.

Falih made the comments as OPEC members and other oil-producing countries mulled cuts in output on Thursday to prop up plunging prices.

"We're looking for a sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries," Falih said.

Oil ministers from 20 or so countries are in Vienna for two days of meetings - first, the 15 members of OPEC, then a wider group including countries outside the cartel.

The meetings come a day after it was reported that global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018.

The price of a barrel of Brent, the European benchmark, fell four percent to below $60 on Thursday, hit by the Saudi comments, which were taken on the markets to be very cautious, and concerns over an economic slowdown.

On Wednesday, Trump had taken to Twitter to urge producers to keep pumping.

"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!" said Trump, who has repeatedly accused the cartel of keeping prices artificially high.