Oil futures climbed to their highest settlement in almost four years in early October, only to drop to a more than one-year low in late November.
The spectrum is huge, ranging from a potential 500,000 to as many as 2 million barrels per day (bpd) taken off the market, according to Ehsan Khoman, head of MENA research and strategy at the Dubai branch of Japanese bank MUFG.
In his comments, Al-Falih commended the Nigerian government for its effort and said that Nigeria remained a force to reckon with in the African region. He said at the time that supply could exceed demand by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent of global demand, suggesting that OPEC and its allies may try to reduce production by that amount.
A seemingly relentless rise in crude supply from the United States, now the world's top producer, together with Saudi Arabia's insistence that it will not cut output on its own to stabilize the market, earlier sent Brent crude to another 2018 low below $58 a barrel.
In November 2014, Saudi Arabia chose to maintain production and allow prices to fall, which temporarily halted the US shale boom but wrecked the kingdom's finances and pushed its economy into recession. MUFG calculates this to be $75 per barrel.
Futures fell 2.5 percent in NY, following a report by the Energy Information Administration that domestic oil supplies climbed for the 10th straight week, fed by rising imports.
There are several reasons why oil prices have been in freefall over such a relatively short space of time, but they all relate to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's tentative alliance with U.S. president Donald Trump. Of course, the key question remains by how much.
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Front-month Brent futures have fallen by a third since the start of October while the six-month calendar spread is in contango, indicating most traders expect the market to be oversupplied in 2019.
On the eve of oil futures fell more than 1.5% after the energy information Administration on the growth of commercial oil reserves in the United States by 3.6 million barrels, with the forecast increase of 0.3 million barrels.
To this effect, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and Saudi Arabian minister of oil and energy, HE Khalid Al-Falih, met in Abuja on Wednesday to discuss how both countries would help to ensure price stability at the upcoming OPEC meeting in addition to seeking areas of collaboration between the two countries.
Three countries now account for close to 40 percent of global crude oil production and only one of these countries is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. "We believe the current dip is transient and the oil price will recover over the next three months to levels of between US$70-80", he wrote in a client note Wednesday.
Mr MacPherson said if a cut is not agreed, oil prices could tumble further.
Saudi Arabia faces a familiar but uncomfortable choice: cut production to defend prices or allow prices to fall to protect market share.