OPEC sees strong oil market, possible need for more output

Brent Crude Oil

Conversely, prices were supported by collapsing production from Venezuela and anticipated resistance from other OPEC members to increase production at the June 22 meeting in Vienna in Austria.

Crude was also weighed down by expectations that producer cartel Opec and key ally Russian Federation will gradually increase output.

Last year, OPEC members unanimously agreed on the oil price of 60 US dollars per barrel, by cutting oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 32.5 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Russia plans to propose the OPEC/non-OPEC allies next week that they reverse the group's production to the October 2016 levels - the baseline for the cuts of most pact participants when they had pumped as much oil as they could to blunt the cuts' impact later is putting pressure on crude oil prices. Some OPEC members back increasing output by the lower end of the 300,000 to 600,000 barrel a day range, one of the people said.

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Fresh fears of a trade war between the world's top two economies sent Asia markets tumbling on Monday after the United States and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.

The need to increase production emerged as Venezuela's production is in free fall and Iranian production is threatened by the re-imposition of US sanctions.

"While concerns over OPEC production and demand may continue to weigh on prices in the near term, this leads us to reiterate our forecast for Brent prices to rally further, with risks to our peak $82.50/b forecast still skewed to the upside later this year", they added.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader said there would likely be oil price volatility in the week ahead of the meeting. Trump complained at least twice, on 20 April, and then again on 13 June, about oil prices. OPEC and non-OPEC Oil producing countries are pushing to increase the Oil output.

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Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at Tortoise Capital, which focuses on energy markets, said those bottlenecks could last another 18 months, another aspect Opec members will likely take into consideration at the meeting.

Expressing his optimism over regaining balance to the worldwide oil market, Al Mazrouei said: "Looking ahead, I remain optimistic that we will fulfil our goal of delivering sustainable oil market stability, which is meant to serve the long term interests of producers, consumers and the global economy".

OPEC's second- and third-largest producers, Iraq and Iran, have said they would oppose output increases on the grounds that such moves would breach previous agreements to maintain cuts until the year-end.

Chinese tariffs on United States energy exports would affect roughly one of every four barrels of oil the U.S. now ships to overseas refiners and, if ultimately imposed, would spark a significant shift in global crude flows, analysts said Monday. Both countries have spare production capacity and raising output even at lower prices would yield significant returns. Brent crude prices dropped to $73.44 a barrel last Friday, the lowest since 2 May.

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