The price of Brent crude oil steadied below $79 a barrel today amid indications from Saudi Arabia that OPEC would not cut oil output.
Reuters reported that benchmark Brent futures were up 20 cents at $78.53 a barrel, while US crude remained unchanged at $74.09.
OPEC is due to meet tomorrow in Vienna to discuss its oil production policy. Several members are urging the group to reduce its production targets by one million barrels per day or more to support oil prices, which have fallen 30% since June.
However, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said the oil market will stabilise itself.
Iran said that OPEC members should collaborate to address the issue of increasing supply and has urged non-OPEC members to also participate in any oil output reductions.
Iran Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh was quoted by the news agency, saying: "I believe we need to have the contribution of non-OPEC producers for managing the market.
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"All the experts in the market believe we have oversupply in the market and next year we will have more oversupply."
Several commodity fund managers believe that oil prices may slide to $60 per barrel if OPEC does not agree to an output cut.
Oil prices have also been affected by weak economic data from Asia’s four largest economies, India, China, Japan and South Korea.