Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Iran signals compromise for modest rise in OPEC oil output

High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan Oil prices rise ahead of OPEC’s June 22 meeting
Lloyd Bates | 22 June, 2018, 22:42

At the end of a day of diplomatic back-and-forth in Vienna on Wednesday, delegates were increasingly positive that a deal would be reached at Friday's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

MINISTER of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said in Vienna on Thursday increasing oil supply by 1 million barrels per day would be a good target as the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries and allies such as Russian Federation meet in Vienna this week.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih, asked whether he expected an easy meeting on Friday, said: "We will find out".

"I don't think we can reach agreement" on the proposal, Zanganeh said as he left the meeting.

The cartel has overcome opposition from Iran and will raise output by one million barrels per day. Trump has used Twitter to complain about high oil prices - and blame OPEC - twice since April.

High volume oil consumers like India seem to be heading for some relief, with crude oil prices falling sharply on Thursday as major oil exporters indicated that a consensus on increasing crude oil production was near.

Yergin said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support the current, tougher USA policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia's rival for influence in the region, and so will want to support Trump's call for higher production and lower prices.

"We need to continue to tread carefully; none of us want to see the return of the kind of volatility that allows pessimism to return to the markets", Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the UAE energy minister and president of the Opec conference, said.

The tentative increase is less than many market participants feared, and helped buoy oil prices back above $75 a barrel from less than $73 a barrel earlier this week.

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So far there is no indication that Iran and the other members would agree to such a reallocation, although with officials holding extensive talks in the run-up to Friday's Opec meeting, further compromise could be made.

"Consumers are asking for more supply in the second half", said Saudi Arabia's Al-Falih.

The move comes amid soaring crude prices and output disruptions in several member countries, including Venezuela, Iran and Angola.

Domestic crude oil production falls by 2.95%.

For Opec, over-compliance with its supply-cutting deal is a nice problem to have.

"I am sure we will come to consensus, and we will look back at this meeting as being equally important to the one we had in late 2016 when we made a decision to take that first action we took as 24 countries of restricting supply to bring stability back to the market", he added.

EUR: Eurozone PMI data for June had been generally mixed with the service reading rising to a 4-month high at 55, above forecasts, while manufacturing remained stagnant at an 18-month low of 55, which was in line with expectations as increased trade war tariff tensions continued to weigh on the manufacturing sentiment.

Saudi Arabia and some other Persian Gulf producers have supported the United States in imposing sanctions on Iran.

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