Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Do not blame OPEC, oil producer group says of Trump criticism

US President Donald Trump has been pressuring OPEC and in particular Saudi Arabia to ramp up output by as much as 2 million barrels a day US President Donald Trump has been pressuring OPEC and in particular Saudi Arabia to ramp up output by as much as 2 million barrels a day
Laurie Berry | 11 July, 2018, 15:44

Another option President Trump has for increasing the supply of oil is tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve to reduce pressure on oil prices.

However, Opec and its allies are doing what they can to offset crude output shortfalls that have kept global supplies tight and prices high, but they don't want to overdo it, according to UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei.

EU lawmakers gave approval on Wednesday for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to do business in Iran, overcoming a blocking attempt and keeping alive plans to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran that Washington has abandoned.

In Canada, an outage at the 360,000-barrel per day (bpd) Syncrude oil sands facility reduced flows into Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for USA futures.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing USA sanctions on its oil exports prompting some buyers to cut purchases.

They said zero-tolerance sanctions on Iran - the fourth-largest oil producer - could add $US50 per barrel to crude prices, which are up more than 25 per cent this year.

Iran detains teenage girl for posting dance videos on Instagram
Iran has already blocked access to many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter , YouTube and the Telegram messaging app . Her performances had thousands of followers on various accounts with her name on them, ranging from 12,000 to 66,000 followers.

After pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the United States has asked India to stop importing oil from Iran.

Brent crude futures settled down 86 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $76.46 a barrel. "For now, the uncertainty around United States government policy is leading to lower exports and an increase in Iranian oil in floating storage", wrote Francisco Blanch, BofAML head of global commodities and derivatives research. OPEC is seeking a balance between supply and demand, not targeting a crude price, he said.

He said the global hike in oil prices is a result of Donald Trump's demand from some OPEC members to increase their production.

Official data that came out on Thursday, a day later than normal due to the July 4 public holiday, showed inventories at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, fell to their lowest in 3-1/2 years. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to July 6, bringing the total count to 863.

However, it has not produced more than 10.42 million bpd on an annual basis or 10.63 million bpd in a single month in the last 20 years. If the USA administration were to order a complete cutoff of Iranian barrels before the end of the year, oil could surge to more than $120 a barrel, analysts argued.

Oil prices surged to their highest level in more than three years this week, sending the price of a barrel of oil up to $74.15, the highest price since November 26th of 2014.

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