Oil: Prices heading north - Rabobank

Saudi Arabia Assures Government On Oil Price Remaining

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it would work to ensure that the world receives enough oil to support global economic growth, while India expressed fears after oil prices reached United States dollars 80 a barrel.

Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Thursday he has called his Saudi counterpart, Khalid Al-Falih, to voice concerns regarding increasing crude oil prices, Kallanish Energy reports. "He reiterated his commitment towards market stability and that the kingdom together with other producers will ensure availability of adequate supplies to offset any potential shortfalls". "Also for the U.S. itself, even though it is close to the tipping point between being a net oil importer or an exporter, oil prices at current levels are likely to be a bigger drag on consumption than they are a boon to business investment".

Saudi Arabia is said to favour an oil price of around $80, or even $100 a barrel, as it gears up to float part of state oil company ARAMCO.

Falih said he offered assurances to the Indian minister following consultations with his colleagues in Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates, which holds the rotating presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The spike in transport fuel prices in India can be largely attributed to the consistent rise in global crude oil prices recently.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne

That effort, now in its second year, helped crude oil prices from historic lows in early 2016.

So while $80 might be Saudi Arabia's purported magic number, its spell might prove short-lived.

The Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank, expects growth in gross domestic product this year at 7.3 percent, up from the 6.3 percent growth posted last year. China is its largest trading partner, but India's trade deficit with Beijing has increased as a result.

Meanwhile, the rise in the US dollar since the start of the year may curb the purchasing power of major importing nations to buy crude, especially since many, such as India and Indonesia, no longer offer drivers such as generous fuel subsidies.

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