Iran's oil minister has hit back at Trump over production demands

Lloyd Doyle
July 10, 2018

"Prices are holding up well because the increase in output from able OPEC members brought the global supply capacity dangerously lower", said Tamas Varga, analyst at brokerage PVM, adding that further supply issues could lift prices to $100 a barrel. Venezuela's production has collapsed due to a lack of investment and Iranian exports have suffered due to U.S sanctions.

Global benchmark Brent was up 14 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at 77.25 a barrel by 0113 GMT.

Analysts say the main wild card for the second half of the year is how much Iranian crude is lost from the worldwide market after the USA reimposes sanctions in November.

Mounting supply concerns could push Brent above $85 per barrel, MUFG Bank said in a note.

"It is likely that concern will support prices all through the summer, while demand continues to be strong during the summer peak", he said.

Strikes by oil-and-gas workers in Norway and Gabon were expected to hit supply, compounding unplanned outages in Libya and Canada, which had already tightened the global market.

That potentially adds to disruptions in other oil producers amid tensions in the Middle East.

Zanganeh added that neither Iranian oil production nor its exports had changed as a result of USA pressure.

Opec members agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies last month to raise output, despite Iran storming out of negotiations, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost but giving no specific numbers.

Libya's national oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following recent oil port closures, the National Oil Corp said on Monday.

"The bottom line becomes the available spare capacity within OPEC. and the markets have started to focus on that", said Victor Shum, vice-president for energy at IHS markets in Singapore.

U.S. crude futures added 8 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to.88 after trading slightly lower earlier in the morning.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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