Monday, 16 July, 2018

Oil prices slip on expectations of rising OPEC, Russian supplies

WTI Crude Oil Weekly August WTI Crude OilMore
Kenneth Drake | 22 June, 2018, 16:13

Yet any output increase agreement could be muted because other OPEC members including Iraq said last week that production cuts should be maintained because prices still need support.

But it's Iran and Venezuela-founding OPEC members and those most affected by USA sanctions and unable to boost production-that are most vehemently opposing an increase in the cartel's production.

"Looking ahead, I remain optimistic that we will fulfil our goal of delivering sustainable oil market stability, which is meant to serve the long term interests of producers, consumers and the global economy", Al Mazrouei said in a statement issued by the ministry ahead of 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference next week in Vienna, Austria.

But that is easier said than done as increasing production would not be easy; even if Russian Federation is non-OPEC, it has tended to go with the bloc, which takes unanimous decisions on production cuts or increases. But oil price should not be out of reach. That crimped the country's ability to export crude, limiting supply and pushing up global prices. Both countries have spare production capacity and raising output even at lower prices would yield significant returns. The final decision needs to be unanimous for OPEC, however, and many analysts expect the meeting to be a disaster.

The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel are arriving in Vienna to discuss this week whether to increase production of crude oil and help ease the price of global energy.

World oil demand in 2018 is forecast to grow by 1.65 mb/d, broadly unchanged from previous month's assessment, to stand at 98.85 mb/d.


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, which have curbed supplies since 2017, meet on Friday in Vienna, where they had been expected to come to a decision as to whether to increase global oil production, and by how much.

It warned the United Kingdom economy was set to grow at its weakest level since 2009 due to the uncertainty surrounding the split from the European Union, rising oil prices and trade war fears.

In an escalating spat over the American trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, US President Donald Trump last week pushed ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6.

"It's really a double whammy for Iran", Smith says, "from the perspective that because sanctions are being placed on them, they're not going to be able to export as much, because they probably won't be able to send crude into Europe".

This suggests that there has been a rebalancing after years of an overwhelming oversupply of the commodity; equally, it could also point to underlying concerns that have been evident for some time, that some members no longer wish to comply with OPEC's production cut deal. "We are trying to control the prices", he told.

While Iran said on Sunday it was opposed to any increase to current quotas, officials from a number of other countries are optimistic that an agreement can be won for a relatively modest hike at this week's meeting in Vienna, the people said, asking not to be named.

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