KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The price of oil dropped and stock markets were mixed Tuesday as it became uncertain whether OPEC countries might reach an agreement to cut crude production at their meeting this week.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell another $1.22 to $45.86 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, tumbled $1.20 to $47.04 in London.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets Wednesday to discuss output cuts, which it had provisionally agreed in September are needed to boost oil prices.
Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he understands that OPEC members will agree to reduce production by between 900,000 and 1.2 million barrels per day — that would be a cut of between 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent from October levels.
Al-Abadi told The Associated Press his country will agree to cut its own oil production as part of the plan because current prices are not sustainable for oil-producing countries.
Saudi Arabia, however, has sounded skeptical about the prospects of a deal being firmed up. An agreement is complicated by its rivalry with Iran, which is hesitant to limit its own output as it ramps up production following years of international sanctions.