Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Oil eases on China refining dip, higher US crude output

Trump renews attack on OPEC ahead of group's production meeting Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices
Lloyd Bates | 30 June, 2018, 21:47

"OPEC countries will be contemplating".

US President Donald Trump and Iran exchanged sharp words over oil prices on Wednesday, with Trump blaming OPEC for high oil prices and Tehran accusing him of stoking volatility after he withdrew last month from a global nuclear arms deal with Iran. "Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

With output in Russian Federation rising back above 11-million barrels a day in June, and Saudi production climbing back above 10-million barrels a day, supplies from the top three producers are increasing.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman Sanjiv Singh met Wang Yilin, chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in Beijing on Monday and held discussions to facilitate more United States crude oil imports to Asia to cut the dominance of OPEC.

The president has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with oil prices in the past.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, hit by rising supplies in the U.S. and expectations that producer group Opec could relax voluntary output cuts. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said elevated crude oil prices, when compared with last year, could push short-term inflation above the Fed's 2 percent objective, but likely not have much of an impact over the next few years.

Shortly after Trump's tweet on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., took to Twitter to respond. OPEC's actions, whether to cut or increase production, often heavily influence the price of oil, and by extension the prices consumers and businesses pay for fuel.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Wednesday's trading session 28 cents higher, at $66.64 a barrel, its highest closing price in almost two weeks, Kallanish Energy reports.

The increasingly public split between the members of the production cut agreement, in place since January 2017, comes on the tail of monthly reports from OPEC, the International Energy Agency and the US Energy Information Administration.

"Our best guess is now that there will be no formal decision to change the production target, but a rather a type of agreement or understanding that compliance will be relaxed", said Johannes Benigni, chairman of JBC Energy Group in Singapore.

The U.S. move has put pressure on European and Asian clients to stop importing Iranian oil or doing business with the country. Prices last month were further boosted to the highest level since 2014 after a USA decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran threatened to curb exports from the Islamic Republic and as economic turmoil in Venezuela hurt the Latin American nation's output.

Sources close to the matter said a number of options are being looked at, including an increase of around 1 million barrels per day and, should prices fall, making no decision.

The IEA, which coordinates the energy policies of industrialised nations, said stocks in developed countries fell to their five-year average - a metric used by Opec to measure the success of the output cuts.

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