OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said Friday that talks about easing production cuts were prompted by a sharply critical tweet by Trump on April 20.
He also reiterated that obligations under the 1.8 million b/d OPEC/non-OPEC output cut agreement may be lowered if the participants come to the conclusion at the June meeting the market has rebalanced.
The two oil-rich countries are the key movers behind a pact between OPEC and other producers that has limited production since 2017, but which experts fear may soon lead to a spike in prices.
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He also said the main concern over the recent price rally to more than $80 a barrel should be the impact on onsumer nations such as India and China.
The price of Brentcrude oil, the global benchmark outside the U.S., has now failed twice in recent days to break convincingly above the $80 per barrel level, suggesting that the market is now toppish and ready for at least a modest move lower. At the auction the previous day, the price decreased by $1,01 (1,27%) and has made on closing of $78,79 per barrel.
The notoriously fractious cartel has been uncharacteristically collaborative of late, as OPEC and Russian Federation had agreed to curb their collective output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018.
The benchmarks are diverging as rising inventories in the USA weigh on American futures while risks to supply from Iran to Venezuela buoy Brent.
"Geopolitical risks. kept investors on their toes".
Earlier this month oil prices skyrocketed, surpassing US$80 a barrel for the first time since 2014, after the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.
Yet, while OPEC is mulling an increase the reality is it will be needed to replace the loss of Venezuelan crude oil and the loss of Iranian crude due to US sanctions.
"We still have the unquantifiable impact of USA sanctions against Iran".
Oil prices extended losses Wednesday morning, after weekly data showed a sharp rise in US crude stockpiles.
"People are having a hard time taking them seriously about it for now, but definitely it's registering more with the market today", he said, adding, "Unnamed OPEC sources are only going to carry the day so far".
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