Saudi Struggles For Gulf Oil Producers' Support Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

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Some OPEC members have been opposed to a production increase, and others don't want to go as far as Saudi Arabia.

But prices may stall even without agreement-Saudi Arabia has already begun producing more oil than provisioned for under its production cap.

The group has been forced to take a softly-softly approach to oil production increases after cracks emerged within the cartel and threatened to dash the chances of a deal. He tweeted last week - "Oil prices are too high, Opec is at it again".

Sources told Reuters on Thursday that Iran wants any increase to be justified on demand conditions and not dictated by outside external pressure, as even some of Saudi Arabia's traditional allies have accused the kingdom of bending too far to appease USA wishes.

So an OPEC deal to increase output could also influence the balance of power in the Middle East. "Need to keep prices down!" Trump wrote on Twitter after OPEC announced its decision.

A 25 percent tariff on US crude oil imports, as threatened by China in retaliation for duties Washington has announced but not yet implemented against Chinese products, would make American crude uncompetitive in China versus other supplies.

"It would be nice if we can do it in 2019", al-Falih said at an OPEC conference in Vienna today, Bloomberg reports.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister said the OPEC ministers will discuss a proposal to increase output by about 1 million barrels per day.

But in practice it would mean a much smaller boost of less than a 10th of that amount, effectively from Saudi Arabia.

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Zanganeh said that Iran would try to maintain its export levels in the face of United States sanctions.

Countries in the OPEC oil cartel have agreed to a new oil output level that effectively increases production by nearly 1 million barrels per day.

If all Opec members produced as much as they were allowed under the deal, Opec output would in theory rise by about 740,000 barrels per day, based on Reuters estimates of the group's production in May. The measure has helped rebalance the market in the past 18 months and lifted oil to around $74 per barrel from as low as $27 in 2016.

Production has been subdued in recent months due to unexpected outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola.

While market fundamentals are healthy, large crude-consuming countries are anxious about a looming supply shortfall because of underinvestment in new oil and gas projects, he said.

"There isn't a lot of spare capacity in the world".

The cartel has overcome opposition from Iran and will raise output by one million barrels per day.

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.

Observers believe a face-saving deal could be brokered if members simply stopped over-complying with the current pact, and agreed to stick to the original reduction quotas - which would bring several hundred thousand more barrels to the market each day.

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