India, China plan oil buyers' block to counter Opec

30 June, 2018, 21:47 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Trump renews attack on OPEC ahead of group's production meeting

The loss was buffered somewhat by sentiment from RBC Capital Markets that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to put more oil on the market to offset supply issues expected in the second half of the year.

OPEC is a group of 14 nations that seeks to coordinate oil production and greatly influence oil prices.

In April, Trump also blasted OPEC on Twitter, accusing the group of "artificially" raising oil prices.

"Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again". The block accounted for about 83 per cent of India's total crude oil imports, 98 per cent of its LPG imports and 74 per cent of its LNG imports during the last financial year ended March 31, 2018.

Prices, however, were already rising on growing demand and expectations that a sharp pullback in new investment by oil companies would reduce the oil supply.

Trump sparked the latest back-and-forth on Wednesday when he renewed his attack on OPEC, saying in a tweet that oil prices are too high and blaming the cartel.

Donald Trump and Iran exchanged sharp words over oil prices on Wednesday, with Tehran accusing the US president of contributing to volatile prices after he withdraw from a global nuclear arms deal last month.

Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above $150 a barrel in less than two years. The kingdom and partner Russian Federation, which last month proposed increasing supplies later this year without first consulting Opec members, appear to be raising production already.

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The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now $66.60 a barrel.

As a follow up of Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's idea floated at the International Energy Forum (IEF) meeting here in April, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh travelled to Beijing this month to meet Wang Yilin, Chairman of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a top source said.

Rising U.S. stocks partly reflect a surge in U.S. crude production, which has jumped by nearly a third in the last two years to a record 10.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

Meanwhile, OPEC left its outlook for global oil demand unchanged at 98.85 million barrels per day, up 1.65 million barrels a day from past year.

Prices were weighed down by another rise in the number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States.

Martijn Rats, Morgan Stanley's global oil strategist, said oil prices would be supported "if supply and demand is in balance, if inventories have drawn significantly and spare capacity isn't all that great".

It is "inevitable" that OPEC and partners will agree next week to gradually roll back some of the production cuts that have been in place since January 2017, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday in Moscow.

Preliminary data for May 2018 indicated that global oil supply increased by 270,000 bpd month-on-month to average 97.86 million bpd, representing an increase of 1.74 million year-on-year.


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