Saudi Arabia rejects Trump request to hike oil output

24 September, 2018, 20:53 | Author: Salvatore Jensen

Iran says no country can ever compensate for its missing oil supplies to markets in case the US materializes its threat to bring the Islamic Republic's oil exports to zero with a top official saying that US President Donald Trump would sooner or later have a change of heart over his campaign to the same effect.

The Opec oil cartel raised its global production forecast on Sunday based on higher-than-predicted USA output in a report outlining a long-term rise in net demand, particularly in developing countries.

Mr Trump called on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to lower prices. "We're looking at $68 [average] for this year and $73 for 2019".

"With demand remaining strong in the short term, we still see oil balances constructing higher oil prices".

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili insisted on Sunday that Iranian production was steady at 3.8 million bpd but appeared to soften his stance on potential increases in OPEC output.

Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Trump to reiterate his demand on Thursday that the Opec lower prices.

OPEC isn't just grappling with USA sanctions cutting Iranian supply. Trump said last week that OPEC "must get prices down now!" but Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Monday OPEC had not responded positively to Trump's demands.




Opec and other producers had discussed raising output by 500,000 barrels a day, Reuters reported.

"I do not influence prices", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters as OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers gathered in Algiers for a meeting that ended with no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost. "The reason Saudi Arabia didn't increase more is because all of our customers are receiving all of the barrels they want".

Major oil trading houses are predicting the return of $100 crude for the first time since 2014. However, the consensus has now moved to as much as 1.5 million barrels daily as the U.S.is "incredibly serious" about its measures, he said.

"The biggest issue is not with the producing countries, it's with the refiners, it's with the demand".

Rising crude prices is always bad for oil retailers as it is a raw material for them and aviation companies as oil is a major part of their operational expenses.

Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in early July that South Korea would not lift any Iranian crude and condensate that month, halting all shipments for the first time in six years amid US pressure to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November.

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