Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices

Irving Hamilton
Июня 15, 2018

Brent crude was up 53 cents at $76.41 a barrel by 10:52 a.m. EDT (1552 GMT).

Opec spent the past few years attempting to push up the price of oil following its collapse in 2014 when the price plunged from more than $115 a barrel to hit a low below $30 a barrel in early 2016.

Preliminary data for May 2018 indicated that global oil supply increased by 270,000 bpd month-on-month to average 97.86 million bpd, representing an increase of 1.74 million year-on-year. US estimated gasoline demand hit a record high of 9.88 million bpd in the week, the data said.

In contrast, Saudi Arabia and several other OPEC members, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and non-OPEC nation Oman would prefer a gradual production boost to avoid upsetting the oil market. "Put the exports of crude on top of that, and it's just a really bullish report".

"We have looked at a scenario, not a forecast, showing that by the end of next year output from these two countries (Venezuela and Iran) could be 1.5 mb/d (million barrels per day) lower than it is today", it said in a report. "It seems like we need nearly every barrel of that to keep up with this refining demand".

Pradhan's meeting with the envoys of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) follows India's talks with China on Monday for an oil alliance, during which one of the proposals on the table envisaged Indian refiners buying equity crude directly from Chinese companies with stake in overseas projects instead of the spot market.

"Iran has already signaled that it will resist any such attempts and blames the USA for the price rise".

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The low oil prices finally propelled the world's biggest oil exporters, led by Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, into a year of shuttle diplomacy that saw 24 countries signing on to the supply cut agreement in December 2016 to remove 1.8 million barrels a day from the market.

"More oil from OPEC plus is the base case", said Bjarne Schieldrop, analyst at Swedish bank SEB.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the group, recorded the biggest increase in May as its oil production rose by 161,400 bpd to 10.03 million bpd.

Opec and its allies had accomplished their mission of reducing global oil stocks to desired levels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported in April, signalling that the market could become too tight if supply remained restrained.

Even if the supply gap, triggered by the return of U.S. sanctions on Iran and a major political crisis in Venezuela, is plugged, the oil market will likely remain vulnerable to disruption next year, the IEA warned.

Fund manager Pierre Andurand at Andurand Capital is bullish.

Although Saudi Arabia has benefited from oil's rally over the last two years, the government relies on a strong security relationship with the USA, giving Washington some influence in the debate over OPEC policy.

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