Saudi Arabia Drives Rise in OPEC Oil Output

15 June, 2018, 12:46 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • WTI Crude Oil

"I think we will see OPEC-plus agree to increase output at the meeting", said Warren Patterson, a commodities strategist at ING Bank in Amsterdam, who anticipated OPEC would launch its "exit strategy" before it was signaled by Saudi Arabia last month.

Today's headlines failed to dissipate the uncertainty surrounding a possible OPEC supply hike.

While economic growth is projected to be strong in the US, Europe and Japan, there is a chance of a slowdown in China and India, OPEC said.

Yesterday, Iraq's Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi said Baghdad "rejects unilateral decisions by some oil producers without consulting the rest of the members" of OPEC, clearly signaling that Saudi Arabia, leader of the OPEC pack as it may be, is not free to raise production without telling anyone about it. Related: Can Saudi Arabia Prevent The Next Oil Shock? But OPEC, Russia and others have said any increase in output would be made gradually. For instance, when prices rise, US shale oil producers can quickly increase production, to take advantage of those price increases, and, by adding to the supply of oil, moderate them.

Brent crude oil lost 82 cents to trade at $75.92 a barrel by 11:32 a.m.

Drawdowns "in crude oil inventories, healthy oil demand and geo-political developments have supported this rising trend", OPEC said.

Oil LCOc1 pared an earlier decline after the report was released trading just above $76 a barrel.

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OPEC, together with some non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation, started withholding output in 2017 to try to end a global supply glut and support prices.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies only want to raise output by 300,000 barrels per day, but Russian Federation favors raising production by 800,000 bpd, sources told Bloomberg.

OPEC secretary general Mohammad Barkindo in April praised the agreement as a "great success".

Now, top exporter Saudi Arabia - which has so far led Opec's efforts to withhold supplies - is also showing signs of raising production.

Overall OPEC production rose by 35,000 bpd to 31.87 million bpd as production fell in Nigeria, Venezuela and Libya, offsetting Saudi Arabia's gains. Some analysts are predicting that this number could be even lower. OPEC's own oil production rose slightly in May, the monthly report showed. The proposed move could squeeze spare production capacity which is the amount of extra production oil producers can bring onstream and sustain with short notice, which is meant to be used in the event of natural disaster, war, or unplanned supply disruptions. Iran's share of OPEC production increased slightly last month, possibly a sign that the country's crude exports have not yet been affected by the USA decision to ditch a landmark global nuclear accord with Tehran and re-impose damaging sanctions.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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