U.S. Pushes for Lower Oil Prices as OPEC Mulls Production Boost

Нефть Brent торгуется выше 78 долларов за баррель

Petrol and diesel have surged on the back of rallying worldwide markets for crude oil, amid ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Brent futures dipped 4 cents to $79.53 a barrel by 0006 GMT, after climbing 35 cents on Tuesday.

Oil prices recovered some ground Wednesday after a surprise jump in USA crude inventories, which added another headwind to oil markets following suggestions that OPEC might increase production.

The price drop of both WTI and Brent crude oil this week is being attributed to sanctions on Iran and increased sanctions on Venezuela following last weekend's re-election of Nicolas Maduro. While Saudi Arabia has avoided pinpointing an exact price target for oil, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with development that it is aiming for $80 to support the valuation of Saudi Aramco before an initial public offering.

The U.S. government imposed new sanctions on Venezuela following Sunday's re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

The increase in USA inventories came from a combination of reduced exports and rising imports; the latter is somewhat surprising, Flynn said, because Brent crude is currently trading at a $7 premium to US crude, making exports more advantageous right now.

The price for Brent crude oil was down 2.18 percent as of 9:15 a.m. EDT to $77.07 per barrel.

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Brent crude futures slipped 23 cents to settle at $79.80 a barrel, while USA crude lost 36 cents to $71.84 a barrel.

"OPEC and Russian Federation may consider easing their production cuts before, or no later than, their joint meeting", Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said in a note to clients.

Meanwhile, oil companies in the United States are taking their time in ramping up production in an effort to avoid debt.

Oil prices had a "swift reaction today to the musings by OPEC to potentially add more supply to the market".

Oil retreated from the highest price in more than three years after surprise increases in USA crude and gasoline stockpiles.

Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.

Later on May 23, official data on oil reserves in the country from the U.S. Energy Department will be published. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.123 million barrels.

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