Saudis tell OPEC June output jumped to 10.5 MMbopd

Saudis tell OPEC June output jumped to 10.5 MMbopd”

USA crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3 million-barrel build in crude inventories.

Trump again accused the OPEC of driving fuel prices higher on Wednesday, and urged United States allies such as Saudi Arabia, to pump more if they wanted Washington to continue protecting them against their top foe, Iran.

In late morning trading Thursday, the price of the worldwide benchmark Brent grade of crude oil was little changed at $77.85 a barrel.

On Tuesday, crude closed near 78 dollars per barrel, driven higher by a sharp drop in US inventories and the expectation of more drivers hitting the road for the July 4 holiday.

The legislation still probably won't go anywhere, but OPEC could be forgiven for being confused by the mixed signals coming from Washington, which can essentially be boiled down to: "Stop your anti-competitive behavior" but "intervene in the markets to manipulate prices to our benefit", and "nobody is allowed to buy oil from Iran" and "why are oil prices so high?!"

"Gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", he complained again on Twitter on July 4. His latest was a reminder that the United States defends many OPEC members for "very little" money. High fuel prices drain money from consumers' pockets, hurting economic growth while adding to inflation.

South Korea, a major buyer of Iranian oil, will not lift any Iranian crude and condensate in July for the first time since August 2012, three sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Last month, in an interview with Reuters, he said that "you (Trump) can not place sanctions on two OPEC founder members and still blame OPEC for oil price volatility".

Top exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month, OPEC sources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices.

Oil held near US$74 (RM299) a barrel amid estimates that U.S. crude inventories declined for a fourth week, compounding concerns that global markets are growing increasingly tight.

Saudi Arabia told OPEC it pumped about 10.5 MMbopd last month as the kingdom sought to cap rallying prices by ramping up output, according to people familiar with the matter.

"With renewed geopolitical risk factors likely to stimulate concerns of supply disruptions, oil prices have scope to extend gains in the near term", Otunuga added. "Please stop this method", the Iranian oil ministry's news agency quotes Hossein Kazempour Ardebili as saying. Lately, drop in U.S. inventories for the straight second week and a threat from Iranian commander also helped prices to surge.

Iran's deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that any attempt to thwart its oil exports will result in the closure of Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where the world's biggest concentration of tankers carry about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids during the year. According to some analysts, extra global production capacity is around 2 to 3 million barrels per day.

While OPEC leader Saudi Arabia will pick up the slack, Morgan Stanley believes oil markets will be undersupplied by around 600,000 in the second half of 2018.

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