OPEC Meeting Wraps up Without Word on Production Cuts

Oil prices tumbled 4% on Thursday as member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reportedly agreed to cut production, but ended its closely-watched meeting without a decision on how much crude the cartel will take off the market.

OPEC agreed in principle to cut production during a meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria on Thursday. However, the cartel is reportedly waiting to decide on the size of the reduction until after consulting with Russia, potentially delaying the decision until Friday when OPEC meets with non-member producers.

OPEC is aiming to reach an accord with the producers over output levels. Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia has been leading calls for the group to trim output, amid surging supply and fears that an economic slowdown will erode fuel demand.

Oil producers appeared to be coalescing around a plan to remove 1.3 million barrels per day from the market earlier in the week. However, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters on Thursday morning that a cut of one million bpd would be sufficient.

Brent crude fell $2.09, or 3.4%, at $59.47 U.S. a barrel mid-morning Thursday, after falling to a session low at $58.36. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down $2.19, or 4.1% at $50.72 U.S., falling back towards the session low of $50.23.