The price of global benchmark Brent crude was slightly above $60 a barrel on Friday, as the oil market awaits an announcement from OPEC members and their allies that will conclude this evening in Vienna.
Brent oil was trading at $60.24 per barrel with a daily gain of 0.3 percent at 1200 GMT, while American benchmark was at $51.37 a barrel at the same time for a daily loss of 0.2 percent.
Crude prices fell by more than 5 percent on Thursday as OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which provides 11 percent of global supply, signaled that the cartel and its allies would lower their total output by 1 million barrels per day (mbpd).
The market expectation for OPEC members and its oil producing ally countries, dubbed together as OPEC+, was to curb their total production between 1.2 mbpd and 1.4 mbpd.
On Thursday, oil prices gained some of their early losses after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed that U.S.' crude oil inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels last week, much higher than market expectations of 0.9 million barrels.
U.S. crude production, however, remained at a record high level of 11.7 mbpd, according to the EIA.
Rising output from Saudi Arabia and Russia, at 11.2 mbpd and 11.6 mbpd, respectively, is keeping a downward pressure on crude prices, before market expectations of substantial cuts from OPEC+.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters Thursday at the conclusion of the first day of the OPEC conference that the kingdom is "not confident" an agreement on oil output cuts will be reached.
In addition to OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, Iran has also asked the cartel to be exempted from any output cut deal because of U.S. sanctions on its crude exports.
This limits the options for the 15-member organization on how much each member can contribute to a supply cut agreement.
OPEC members are holding talks Friday with non-OPEC producing nations - Russia, Kazakhstan and Mexico, and are awaiting confirmation on how much they are willing to trim their individual outputs.
Russia has been reluctant to join a potential supply cut agreement, since its break-even oil price to balance its budget is at a much lower level than the Saudis.
OPEC members were reported Friday to have reached a preliminary agreement to curb oil production. But specific volumes of supply cuts for each individual participant country are yet to be concluded in the talks the cartel is holding with non-OPEC producers, according to world media.
By Ovunc Kutlu