Prices Dip Slightly on Reports Iran May Agree to Small Production Hike
22 June, 2018, 05:40 | Author: Regina Lloyd
Oil prices fell on Thursday as crude exporters in Opec appeared to be nearing a deal to increase production.
Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday, supported by a drop in US commercial crude inventories reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Iran has edged away from a threat to veto any agreement that would raise output, while Saudi Arabia has put forward a plan that would add 600,000 barrels a day - about 0.5 percent of global supply - smaller than the 1.5 million increase Russian Federation proposed. The cartel's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, wants higher prices but hears President Donald Trump, leader of its most important ally, lobbying openly for lower prices.
While India is not in favour of oil prices as low as $30 a barrel, the prevailing price levels are too high and stand to hurt the country's fiscal situation, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
Observers say the participating countries could simply agree to stop exceeding their quotas for cutbacks, and stick to the agreed target of trimming production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).
Looming over all financial markets is an escalating trade dispute between the United States and its other major trading partners, particularly China. Iran does at least "understand the necessity to reduce cuts" and has agreed to discuss the matter, Oman's Oil Minister Mohammed Al Rumhy said earlier in the day. That may seem insignificant in a global supply of 98 million barrels a day, but critically it would reverse reductions that the same countries approved in late 2016, helping push crude higher by more than 50 percent.
"We are making good progress", said United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, who also now holds the position of OPEC president.
"I don't think we can reach agreement", Zanganeh told reporters. "We are trying to narrow the gap between the two and we hope that this afternoon reach some sort of good compromise". The talks, held as the cartel hosted an worldwide energy conference attended by hundreds of officials, executives and investors, will shape oil prices, energy stocks and currencies of petroleum-exporting countries for months to come. Pradhan urged Opec producers to maintain supply equilibrium.
If the existing deal is retained and Saudi Arabia felt there was a need to add more oil, Riyadh could still increase production unilaterally, as it did after a meeting in June 2011 ended with no decision.
"Consumers are asking for more supply in the second half", said Saudi Arabia's Al-Falih.
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