Oil investors fear Opec will turn taps back on

Friday, 25 May, 2018

- An unexpected rise in U.S. crude oil inventories and a possible increase in OPEC+ output both point to lower crude oil prices. OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.

"The discussions over OPEC possibly raising production is definitely raising some concern", said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

The May 23 EIA report showed that stockpiles held at the biggest USA pipeline hub in Cushing, Okla., fell by 1.12 million barrels, the first decline in five weeks.

Bank of America said earlier this month that oil could rally to $100 by the middle of next year, a view echoed by veteran developing-nation investor Mark Mobius.

"If prices get above there, that will further intensify and increase the likelihood that OPEC will do something ..."

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.

Schumer and other democrats have sent a letter to Rick Perry, Trump's energy secretary, urging him to raise the issue when OPEC meets in Vienna on June 22. The apprehension in India was that OPEC countries, including export leader Saudi Arabia, had persistently denied rising production to offset a price spiral.

Reuters is reporting that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has had talks with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih on an easing of the terms of the global oil supply pact that has been in place for 17 months, Novak said on Friday.

"During the meeting we will discuss the current situation, the outlook and possible further actions to be taken within the framework of our deal". At the auction the previous day, the price decreased by $1,01 (1,27%) and has made on closing of $78,79 per barrel.

United States crude oil stockpiles climbed unexpectedly last week as net imports jumped, while gasoline stocks also posted a surprise build, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"It seems as if the pull backs are just short-term profit taking and we will see whether people are going to be willing to drive the market through $80 again", he said.

Brent crude prices were down US$0.15 at open on Thursday and sat at US$79.04.