Khalid Al-Falih Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia speaks prior to the start of a meeting of OPEC, at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP/Ronald Zak)
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OPEC ended talks in Vienna without a deal on oil production cuts, with the size of Russia's contribution remaining a sticking point before further talks Friday. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he wasn't confident of an agreement after discussions of a 1 million barrel a day output reduction concluded without an agreement. Achieving that balance was proving elusive, with one delegate predicting that the size of output cuts would remain unresolved until Friday, when allies including Russia join the talks.ELUSIVE AGREEMENTIn one proposal being considered at talks Thursday, OPEC could cut its own output by 900,000 to 1 million barrels a day and then seek further curbs from non-OPEC partners, one delegate said, asking not to be identified as an agreement hasn't yet been reached.The alliance has transformed OPEC into a duopoly in which Russia, which isn't a formal member of the cartel but part of the production-cuts alliance, is asserting its power.In private conversations earlier this week, OPEC delegates said that Saudi Arabia had favored a Russian cut of about 300,000 barrels a day, but Moscow was seeking a smaller reduction of about 150,000, people familiar with those talks said.OPEC ministers are also discussing whether to exempt Libya and Venezuela from making production cuts, another delegate said.
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