OPEC has agreed to extend oil production cuts until the end of 2018, a delegate said as the group strives to finish clearing a global glut of crude and avoid another price crash.

The agreement in principle was reached after several hours of debate at OPEC headquarters in Vienna.

The delegate said OPEC was still discussing whether to cap the oil output of Libya, which had been exempted from production cuts due to unrest.

The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet non-OPEC producers led by Russia later today to approve the extension of joint production cuts.

Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market does not flip into a deficit too soon.

With oil prices rising above $60, Russia has expressed concerns that such an extension could prompt a spike in crude production in the US, which is not participating in the deal.

Russia needs much lower oil prices to balance its budget than OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia, which is preparing a stockmarket listing for national energy champion Aramco next year and would benefit from pricier crude.
             
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq said OPEC would debate capping Nigerian and Libyan output at 1.8 million bpd and 1 million bpd respectively, having exempted the two countries so far due to unrest and lower-than-normal production. 

The production cuts have been in place since the start of 2017 and helped halve an excess of global oil stocks although those remain at 140 million barrels above the five-year average, according to OPEC. 

Russia has signalled it wants to understand better how producers will exit from the cuts as it needs to provide guidance to its private and state energy companies.