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Oil Falls Below $60 Per Barrel

Oil prices were subdued on Friday after it emerged that OPEC discussed a potential exemption from cutting output for Iran at a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.

The meeting ended without a deal on production cuts for the first time in nearly five years as the oil cartel wanted to get heavyweight Russia on board with cuts.

Russia wants to cut its oil output by a maximum of 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first three months of 2019, RIA news agency cited a source as saying.

It is said that Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela also weren't on board with the final deal.

Global benchmark Brent crude dropped 11 cents to $59.95 per barrel, while
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 0.45 percent at $51.26 per barrel.

There was talk of a 1.4 million barrel cut, but media reports suggest that Saudi Arabia was keen for a cut of only 1 million barrels.

"No, I am not confident. We are still debating the distribution," Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters after coming out of Thursday's meeting.

OPEC ministers will meet again for a third day today to try to hammer out an agreement on output cuts.

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