Oil Prices Edge Lower After Recent Rally

Adjust Comment Print

USA sanctions on Iran also threaten to reduce oil exports from that OPEC producer.

Crude oil futures ticked higher Wednesday in Europe, with the market focusing on the longer term picture of tighter OPEC supply rather than the bearish inventory builds announced by the US Energy Information Administration this week.

More generally, Brent has been pushed up by voluntary production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation, which were put in place in 2017.

Further weighing on prices has been surging USA output, which hit another record last week at 10.8 million bpd. Iran is the third-largest oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Riyadh took this line partly because higher crude prices could help the stock market float of a stake in state oil giant Saudi Aramco expected to take place in 2019, Saudi industry sources had told Reuters.

In announcing his decision, Trump also warned that the US would impose the "highest level" of sanctions on Tehran.

India, Uzbekistan review bilateral ties
The two leaders also discussed China importing "high quality pharmaceutical products" from India. India, along with Pakistan had become a full-time member during Astana summit in June 2017.

Crude rose above $72 in late May after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to renew sanctions on Iran and plunging output in Venezuela raised concerns over potential supply shortages. Domestic production rose to 10.8 million barrels per day from 10.77 million barrels a day the week before.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation were already discussing raising Opec and non-Opec oil output by about 1-million bpd, sources familiar with the matter said on May 25.

Iran has called on OPEC to discuss what it called "illegal" sanctions at the next meeting on June 22, which is due to debate production policies.

OPEC members exported a total of 24.86 million barrels a day last year, down by 406,000 barrels compared to the prior year total, with most (62.6%) sent to the Asia-Pacific region.

Crude oil prices are continuing to diverge as global benchmarks rise relative to land locked WTI.

"A consensus for higher oil prices and revenues will be the bedrock of every OPEC nation". PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said, Reuters reported. "The countries will not risk a landslide in prices after suffering from the oil crash of 2014", Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said on Friday in a note. "The market should stay in deficit" despite Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's comments his country stands ready to raise production should Opec decide to do so, he said.