OPEC debates thorny issue of how to implement supply cut

Oil prices slip below $50 a barrel on doubts over production cut deal

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OPEC officials began talks in Vienna on Friday aimed at working out details of their oil supply-cut agreement, which they concede is looking more complicated by the day.

The meeting of the High Level Committee is comprised mainly of OPEC governors and national representatives - officials who report to their respective ministers.

Meanwhile, oil prices slipped below $50 a barrel on Friday and were set for the biggest weekly losses in six weeks over doubts about whether producers will be able to agree on an output cut big enough to curb a global glut that has weighed on markets for two years.

Experts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and counterparts from other oil-producing nations such as Russia are attending the two-day negotiations over an output-capping agreement expected to be presented at the end of next month.

However, hopes for a milestone deal were slim as disagreements remain over which members should be exempt from a curb to reduce output to a range of between 32.5 and 33 million barrels per day (bpd).

Russia thinks an output freeze could be short-lived due to an expected quick recovery in US shale oil production, Interfax news agency said, citing Russia's energy ministry.

Brent crude futures were down 51 cents at $49.96 a barrel by 1318 GMT. The contract was set to close the week more than 3 percent lower, in its steepest weekly loss since mid-September.

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