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Saudi Arabia struggles for Gulf oil producers' support

High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan

The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria June 19, 2018.

Iran had been expected to oppose any rise in crude output, but has now signalled it may support a small increase, Reuters reported.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said that an OPEC committee ahead of the official meeting had agreed "to recommend releasing the equivalent of 1 million barrels or thereabout to the market".

Prices of Brent Crude were down to $73.34 on Thursday, after highs earlier this month of around $80, while U.S. light crude CLc1 dropped $1 to $64.71.

Mr. Pradhan went on to say that the prices of oil and gas had become subject to the "vagaries of geopolitics" and urged the OPEC countries to commit towards ensuring more sustainable prices. "More oil on the market means relatively lower prices for consumers".

At 0852 GMT, August WTI crude oil futures are trading at $66.28, up $0.74 or +1.11% and August Brent crude oil is at $74.03, up $0.99 or +1.35%.

While Saudi Arabia, a member of the OPEC, and Russian Federation, a non-member, have spoken in favour of lifting production after a tight output control sustaining over 18 months, Iran and other members of the bloc have resisted it and even threatened to veto the proposal made by Riyadh.

After a meeting in Vienna, Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the cartel made a decision to fully comply with its existing production ceiling.

World Cup match report Iran v Spain 20 June 2018
The Wednesday night game in Kazan was heading to be the first goalless draw in the 2018 World Cup before Costa's 54th-minute goal. Diego Costa's fortunate goal settled a tight contest in Kazan, moving Spain level on points with Portugal at the top of Group B.

Iran, Opec's third-largest producer, has so far been the main barrier to a new deal as it said on Tuesday Opec was unlikely to reach an agreement and should reject pressure from US President Donald Trump to pump more oil.

Opec has reached an agreement in principle to boost oil production, achieving a last-minute compromise that overcame Iran's threats to veto any supply hike. "We are in for higher prices for longer", he said.

He said Trump was partly to blame for the higher oil prices, saying the U.S. leader had "created difficulty for the oil market" by imposing sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

Oxford Economics suggests the actual increase in production will be around 600,000 barrels per day as not all countries can increase output.

"Hope OPEC will increase output substantially". She said OPEC ministers had acted as "their own worst enemies" by warning this week of a potential shortage of around 2 million barrels per day in the second half of 2018.

The deal announced at a press conference in Vienna is aimed at easing fears of a global supply crunch and helping to bring down prices that had spiked by as much as 20% this year.

"Yergin said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support the current, tougher US policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia's rival for influence in the region, and so will want to support Trump's call for lower prices".

"We think this will go a long way in keeping the market from tightening", Falih told reporters.

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