Above $74: Brent oil rises by $1 ahead of OPEC decision

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

OPEC has agreed to increase oil production by one million barrels a day after a stormy meeting that saw Iran walk out of negotiations.

"The US has been lobbying the Saudi leadership for months, urging an end to OPEC's voluntary cut in oil production", Brennan said, adding that US President also tweeted many times about his belief that the OPEC was keeping its prices high artificially. Assuming that the main production continues, that will continue to drive inventories down, we think that that would be, you know, probably too short of a supply situation, that we can not allow to happen.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Wednesday he hoped there would be agreement when OPEC meets but added: "The oil market has not reached the level of stabilization".

At issue is OPEC's 2016 agreement with nonmembers like Russian Federation to cut production by 1.8 million bpd.

Brent reached a 3-1/2-year high above $80 a barrel last month but has fallen steadily in recent weeks as Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of OPEC, has signalled it intends to raise production to stabilise prices. The proposal has yet to win the backing of all OPEC members, and may meet resistance from more hawkish countries in the group including Venezuela and Algeria as well as Iran.

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After sitting down with several counterparts, Iranian Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said he was optimistic about the outcome of the OPEC meeting, a marked contrast to comments on Tuesday when he said a deal was unlikely.

Brent oil prices rose 1% to 74.03 in London trading on Friday.

Global oil supplies were already getting tight before President Donald Trump vowed to exit the Iran nuclear deal and impose "powerful" sanctions on the OPEC nation. Trump wrote on Twitter after OPEC announced its decision.

Questions remain, however, over the ability of some OPEC nations - Iran and Venezuela in particular - to increase production as they struggle with domestic turmoil and sanctions.

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Any further rebalancing will have to come from the demand side, where prices will have to rise high enough to moderate consumption growth.

On Friday, Zanganeh said OPEC would change the structure of the current deal, but declined to elaborate.

OPEC sources said Zanganeh also demanded at the meeting that US sanctions be mentioned in the group's postmeeting communique, as Tehran has blamed the USA measures for causing the recent sharp rise in oil prices.

So an OPEC deal to increase output could also influence the balance of power in the Middle East.

This could reallocate production from members under-producing their quotas to those that can pump more - namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

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The US, China and India had urged Opec to release more supply to prevent an oil deficit that would hurt the global economy.

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