OPEC meets in Vienna today to decide on whether to cut its oil production faced with an abundance of crude that has sent prices crashing. 

Despite oil prices plunging by more than 60% in 18 months, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and the cartel's other Gulf state members are defying calls to cut output.

This is a year-long strategy of attempting to preserve market share and fend off competition from non-OPEC and world leading producers Russia and the US.

But OPEC's poorer nations, led by Venezuela, want a cut to help boost prices. 

Heading into the Vienna meeting, the cartel's dozen member countries from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, had yet to strike an agreement on tackling an oil supply glut, with Iran insisting that it plans to up its own production early next year. 

Markets expect the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - which pumps out about one-third of the world's oil - to leave its daily oil output ceiling at 30 million barrels. 

According to a survey by Bloomberg, OPEC production in November rose to an above-target 32.1 million barrels per day (mbpd). 

Iran yesterday said it would not bow to pressure whereby it avoids increasing its production following the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed due to its disputed nuclear programme. 

This is despite slowing growth in global oil demand, largely because of weaker economic output in China, the world's biggest consumer of energy.

Today's meeting at OPEC headquarters will meanwhile see it approve Indonesia's return to the organisation following a six-year absence that had been triggered by southeast Asia's largest economy becoming a net importer of oil. 

Its return is seen as a way for the resource-rich country to access cheaper oil supplies as local demand soars while domestic production falls. 

Meanwhile, oil prices rose in Asian trade toay Friday as traders hedged their bets ahead of that OPEC meeting.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January was up 28 cents at $41.36 and Brent crude for January was trading 26 cents higher at $44.10. 

Both contracts had gained since a sharp fall on Wednesday that saw WTI close below $40 for the first time since late August.