Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Iran criticizes reported USA request for Saudi oil production hike

Iran criticizes reported USA request for Saudi oil production hike Iran criticizes reported USA request for Saudi oil production hike
Russell Knight | 08 June, 2018, 22:24

Crude prices came under pressure after data suggested Chinese demand was waning and concerns lingered about growing USA output. While oil is still in technical price trouble in the short-term the correction should soon be over. Rising production has prompted selling since global benchmark Brent LCOc1 climbed above $80 a barrel last month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.22, or 1.88 percent to $65.95 a barrel.

The surge in USA production has pulled down WTI into a discount versus Brent CL-LCO1=R of more than $11 a barrel, its steepest since 2015.

On Friday, OPEC's third-largest producer Iran criticized a US request that Saudi Arabia pump more oil to cover a drop in Iranian exports and predicted that OPEC would not heed the appeal.

OUT OF SYNC Despite this, oil markets are not unanimously bullish.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets to review its oil output policy on June 22 in Vienna.OPEC, founded in 1960, has a history of collaboration over oil policy despite differences of opinion and even wars between some members over the years.

Three sources have told Reuters that Venezuelan state firm PDVSA is considering declaring force majeure on some exports, amid plummeting output and tanker bottlenecks at ports.

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China's May crude oil imports eased away from a record high hit the month before, customs data showed on Friday, with state-run refineries entering planned maintenance.

"It's a tug of war between the loss of supply from Venezuela and Iran and the potential output increase from OPEC and USA shale", said Tony Nunan, risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp.

"OPEC will not bow and obey" to US pressure to increase oil production, said Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, one of Iran's representatives to the organization. "We always have conversations with the United States about the stability of the oil market", a senior Saudi official told Reuters, though he did not confirm whether the aforementioned phone call took place.

"The oil price is being driven by OPEC and views on how much and how quickly "OPEC plus" will raise output", Energy Aspects analyst Virendra Chauhan said.

Further weighing on prices has been rising US output C-OUT-T-EIA, which hit another record last week at 10.8 million bpd.

OPEC member Venezuela, threatened with US sanctions in the midst of an economic crisis, is almost a month behind delivering crude to customers from its main export terminals, according to shipping data.

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