Are OPEC+ Talks Over? Russian Energy Minister Will Not Return To Vienna

Update: It would appear OPEC+ talks are over... Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak won’t make it back to Vienna Thursday to discuss cutting oil output with the OPEC+ group of crude producing countries, RIA Novosti reports, citing the ministry.

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WTI is trading back below $51 (and Brent below $60) after Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih says he is "not confident of reaching agreement tomorrow," adding that the "main sticking point is getting agreement from all producers."

Al-Falih notes that a cutback of about 1m b/d is the main scenario considered but added that they still don’t know if Russia is on board with cuts deal, pointing out that he wants Russia to cut as much as possible (well he would, wouldn't he?)

But don't hold your breath for any imminent cut from Russia as even if they come on board tomorrow with the promise of an output cut, don't expect it to start immediately. Winter is never a favored time for shutting in wells in Siberia. Just like 2017, it will take until the spring thaw for Russia to deliver in full on any pledge it may make tomorrow.