Oil stable, OPEC in focus after Trump call for lower prices


Investors are also turning their focus to Sunday's OPEC meeting with allies for clues on whether the group will boost output again after President Donald Trump called on the cartel to rein in prices.

The oil prices were increased to its highest level until this year.

OPEC members will meet this weekend with non-OPEC producers such as Russian Federation to discuss production levels.

U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports come into force in November, with supply from the country already at two-year lows. Other than those two brief instances, it's been more than three and a half years since prices were that high. "We will remember", he tweeted.

Ministers from more than 20 of the 25 countries in the OPEC/non-OPEC coalition are expected to attend the Algiers summit.

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Jason Gammel, analyst at USA bank Jefferies, said he expects Saudi Arabia to try to keep the oil market adequately supplied into 2019, "but at the cost of spare capacity", a key supply buffer to prevent oil price volatility. Still, concerns remain that supplies could tighten as a November deadline for American sanctions on Iranian oil approaches.

It comes after the development of fracking led to a boom in shale oil production while massively reducing drilling costs.The figures are based on preliminary estimates published by the US Energy Information Administration last week.

"The reality is the market is tight because Iranian sanctions are forcing countries to find alternatives", said Ben Cook, portfolio manager at BP Capital Fund Advisors. He was referring to the weekly survey from the oil industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday that indicated United States stocks had risen by 1.2 million barrels last week.

Going forward, the EIA expects the Brent-WTI spread to continue to be the primary factor in the East Coast's domestic crude oil purchases. While Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have recently boosted output to compensate, it's unclear whether they're willing or able to offset all the losses from Iran. "The producers that count are producing at will" and Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are likely to boost output further, he said. "The simpler and achievable goal is to avoid disastrous price spikes, which they can do by coordinating with other producers". This question could be answered this week-end when OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation meet on Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of Iranian supply.

The Saudi's fears about an inability to offset the lost Iranian barrels are already manifesting. Saudi Arabia has been especially keen to keep Russian Federation in the fold, to boost the market clout of the producer group and strengthen burgeoning bilateral ties.