Monday, 22 October, 2018

Oil prices at four-year high after OPEC rebuffs Trump

Saudi energy minister rips Trump tweet: 'I do not influence oil prices' Trump tweet biggest insult to US allies in ME: Iran
Kenneth Drake | 27 September, 2018, 08:32

Oil prices rose 2 per cent on Monday as per cent sanctions restricted Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply, with some traders forecasting a spike in crude to as much as $100 per barrel.

Trump wants the Saudis to boost production to prevent oil prices from rising, while his administration is re-imposing sanctions on Iran, OPEC's third largest oil producer and Riyadh's main regional rival.

The president's tweets have generally been prompted when Brent crude prices have recently risen sharply and are in the $75-80 range.

However, S&P Global Platts Analytics expects 1.4 million b/d of Iranian oil supplies to leave the market by November, when the U.S. sanctions go into force, while Mercuria's Jaeggi said he expects a loss of around 2 million b/d of Iranian crude in the worldwide market. This report drew criticism from President Trump who called for the cartel and other non-OPEC members to increase production.

On Friday, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters OPEC and its allies led by Russian Federation were considering the possibility of raising crude supplies by a further 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) as US sanctions on OPEC's third-largest producer, Iran, bite into Tehran's exports.

"We are not targeting a price, we are aiming for the stability of the market", for its part, has argued the minister emirati Energy, Souhail al-Mazrouei, chairman of the conference of the Opec. "By considering the current conditions, he will have to back down on his plan to bring Iran's oil exports to zero".

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said no immediate output increase was necessary, although he believed a trade war between China and the United States as well as USA sanctions on Iran were creating new challenges for oil markets. That was the highest level since November 12, 2014.

OPEC also ignored US President Trump's request to lower oil prices by increasing output, keeping oil prices well supported.

The Joint OPEC-non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) convened in Algiers, for its tenth meeting, said that the despite the growing uncertainties surrounding market fundamentals, the 25 producing countries continue to seek a "balanced" and sustainably "stable" global oil market.


"The conditions of the market and the production status of oil producers are not as such to allow finding an easy replacement for Iran's oil and remove it from oil markets".

U.S. light crude was $1.25 higher at $72.03 on Monday.

According to analysts from Energy Aspects, the meeting on Sunday could lead to an increase in production, "but the market starts to ask where could well come in these barrels".

Saudi Arabia and its allies are not expected to make any major political decisions at the meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) this weekend.

Iran told OPEC its production had been steady in August at 3.8 million bpd.

"We're on the verge of some significant volatility in Q4 2018 because depending on the severity and duration of the Iranian sanctions, the market simply does not have an adequate supply response for a 2 million barrel a day disappearance of oil from the markets", Jaeggi said.

"Were they do so the oil market would be even more uncomfortably tight than we forecast for 2019 as spare capacity is eroded", Mr Bell added.

Iran's OPEC representative Hossein Kazempour Ardebili on Sunday said his country was continuing to meet its OPEC quota share. -China trade war and supply, especially from the USA, was seen sufficient in the next 12 months, said Janet Kong, BP Plc's head of trading in Asia.

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