Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

OPEC Members Insist Market Supply is Healthy, Take Jabs at Trump

Saudi energy minister rips Trump tweet: 'I do not influence oil prices' Trump tweet biggest insult to US allies in ME: Iran
Scott Davis | 27 September, 2018, 08:33

The so-called "OPEC+" group, which includes the likes of Russia, Oman and Kazakhstan, met at the weekend to discuss a possible increase in crude output, but the upshot of the gathering was that the group was in no rush to do so.

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 U.S. sanctions on Iran were creating new challenges for oil markets.

API has been critical of Trump's trade war because it limits USA access to crude oil export markets and hinders the US goal of energy dominance.

Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Trump to reiterate on Thursday his demand that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lower prices. This comes after the US Congress has reconsidered legislation aimed at preventing OPEC from manipulating oil prices.

Brent could rise to $100 for the first time since 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies due to USA sanctions, according to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Trafigura Group. Notably, the bank increased its estimate of supply losses from Iran 1 million barrels per day (mb/d), up from 500,000 bpd previously.

At the meeting in Algeria next Sunday, the Saudis hope to achieve their goal of making the alliance, formed two years ago to end the devastating oil price decline, more durable before the next big meeting in December.

A meeting between oil producing countries on Sunday decided not to alter supply to the global market, after calls by US President Donald Trump for an immediate hike in output to reduce prices. UD light crude was $1.43, or 2 per cent, higher at $72.21.




Such a price rally would mark the first time since the summer of 2014 that oil would return to the $100-a-barrel level that became the norm in the early part of this decade.

Falih said Saudi Arabia has spare capacity to boost output but that this action was not necessary for now, and might not be needed next year because OPEC projects there will be a marked rise in oil production from non-OPEC countries which could outpace global demand.

"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". Oil demand is forecast to increase by 14.5 million barrels a day to a total of 111.7 million barrels in 2040, driven by an expanding middle class and economic growth in developing countries.

Also Sunday, OPEC released its World Oil Outlook 2040 report.

The meeting ended without any member committing to a specific output increase, delegates said.

The Secretary-General of OPEC Mohamed Senusi Barkindo said that the efforts exerted by member states and non-members of the organisation have enabled the restoration of stability in the market, calling for continued dialogue on market fluctuations in order to maintain its balance.

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