Energy Stocks To Watch Ahead Of OPEC Meetings

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Reports said the Saudi proposal, backed by Russian Federation, would allow several hundred thousand more barrels of oil to come to the market without amending the milestone pact - paving the way for a face-saving compromise with Iran.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has signalled a compromise was in the works as a big hike in production was "politically unacceptable" to some members.

The intensive negotiations between ministers in Vienna this week are the culmination of a process that has whipsawed oil markets for weeks.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia broke out days before OPEC's meeting on Friday in Vienna, with Tehran indicating it would probably not abide to the cartel's plans to cut production.

The black gold has likely picked up a bid due to uncertainty over whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would be able to lift production.

Saudi Arabia and non-Opec Russia have said a production increase of about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or around 1% of global supply had become a near-consensus proposal for the group and its allies. Brent crude last month surged to a more than three-year high above $80 a barrel.

"The voice of the consumer is being heard in Vienna", Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consultant IHS Markit Ltd., said in a Bloomberg television interview.

Oil prices fell 2% after the Saudi minister spoke, before recovering slightly. The cartel would be the biggest beneficiary of possible Chinese tariffs on United States oil imports, as these could help it regain market share, OPEC sources and industry officials tell Reuters.

Analysts expect the group will consider an increase of somewhere around 1 million barrels a day. However, it exports below seven million barrels daily.

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Zangeneh has insisted the members don't overstep their quotas and infringe on the market share of Venezuela and Iran. In reality, because many countries that have cut the deepest can't increase production, that would probably translate to just 600,000 barrels a day of crude flowing back on to the market.

The policy that has propelled the Nigerian economy upward since January 2017 might be maintained, as Saudi Arabia is considering a compromise to keep OPEC production.

Oil futures were lower before an OPEC meeting expected to increase the world's supply of crude and after a report of a large stockpile draw in the United States.

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.

"Iraq is trying very hard to narrow the gap between the two blocs".

Trump's involvement in pressing for OPEC to act - which in addition to his tweets include a behind-the-scenes request for a 1 million-barrel-a-day supply hike - could make it hard for Tehran to accept a compromise.

Benchmark U.S. crude hit its highest level in more than three years in May, but U.S. and global prices have eased since then in anticipation that OPEC will approve more drilling.

Benchmark Brent crude prices traded at $74.35 a barrel on Thursday morning in London.

Falih has warned the world could face a supply deficit of up to 1.8 million bpd in the second half of 2018 and that Opec's responsibility was to address consumers' worries.

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