Saudis Say Deal to Gradually Boost OPEC Output `Inevitable'

Opec spent the past few years attempting to push up the price of oil following its collapse in 2014 when the price plunged from more than $115 a barrel to hit a low below $30 a barrel in early 2016.

The price of Brent crude peaked in May at $80.50 a barrel, then pulled back, trading on Wednesday near $77 a barrel, partly in anticipation that the deal may end. A mix of new USA sanctions on Iran, chaos in Venezuela and robust global growth has tightened the oil market.

Oil price report released yesterday by OPEC showed that Brent crude was down 20 cents at $75.68 a barrel, as USA light crude was 35 cents lower at $66.01. The kingdom reported that it increased production in May to about 10 million barrels a day.

US production of oil came in at 10.9 million barrels per day last week, according to data released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration, up almost 17 percent from the year-ago level.

Brimming with confidence after the recent informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping, India and China are discussing ways to form an oil buyers club with China, Japan and South Korea.

"Prices will be above $150 in less than two years", he tweeted on Wednesday.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman Sanjiv Singh met Wang Yilin, chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in Beijing on Monday and held discussions to facilitate more United States crude oil imports to Asia to cut the dominance of OPEC. Saudi Arabia, Iran's rival and OPEC's largest producer, and Russian Federation, the world's largest producer and a party to the deal, have already increased supply.

"Even if the Iran/Venezuela supply gap is plugged, the market will be finely balanced next year, and vulnerable to prices rising higher in the event of further disruption", the report said. The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday to subject OPEC to US antitrust law by removing state immunity shields.

Trump's tweet - similar to one he wrote in April, blaming OPEC for "artificially Very High" oil prices - came a week before a much-anticipated OPEC meeting in Vienna and may have been created to influence the discussion. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said shielding a cartel like OPEC "makes a mockery of USA antitrust law, threatens the American economy and has the potential to harm our national security".

"Oil prices have come up a lot, but we're not near $4 gasoline", Bordoff said.

U.S. consumption of gasoline in the United States rose to an historic high of 9.88 million bpd last week, according to the EIA. "Adjusted for inflation, these prices are not out of line with where we've seen oil prices for the last decade or two".

The measure would have to pass the full House and the US Senate before Trump could sign it into law.



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