OPEC, Russia Dash Hopes Of Higher Oil Production

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But once the USA sanctions on Iran take full effect, it will become clearer whether the Saudis are correct that the market is well-supplied, or whether the traders have picked a victor in tipping higher prices.

Sunday's meeting appeared to leave unresolved a disagreement which flared up in June between Saudi Arabia and Iran over whether OPEC members are allowed to pump more oil to make up shortfalls elsewhere.

Supply to the global oil market remains "satisfactory", Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday, after calls by US President Donald Trump for an immediate hike in output to reduce prices. He sees US$90 oil by Christmas and US$100 in early 2019.

"We have the consensus that we need to offset reductions and achieve 100 per cent compliance, which means we can produce significantly more than we are producing today if there is demand", Al Falih said.

OPEC and Russian Federation have capped production since January 2017 to bolster prices.

The US President said in a tweet last week that Opec "must get prices down now!" by raising global output.

But a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers in Algiers ended without any formal recommendation for a supply boost.

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Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Trump to reiterate his demand on Thursday that the Opec lower prices.

He further said all producers - OPEC and non-OPEC - wanted to keep the price of oil at around $80 per barrel. "The reason Saudi Arabia didn't increase more is because all of our customers are receiving all of the barrels they want".

The U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran is already forcing refiners to look elsewhere for supplies of the heavy, sour crudes supplied by the Islamic Republic.

"Oil demand will be declining in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year".

"All this will potentially reflect on oil prices". Money managers' wagers on higher Brent crude prices are having their longest streak since November 2017, according to ICE Futures Europe data.

The September quarter of the year is typically the strongest for global crude demand, a situation that has been exacerbated this year by the looming reintroduction of economic sanctions on Iran from early November, including the nation's crude exports, contributing to recent strength in prices.

"Balances are precarious and the lack of spare capacity could see crude pricing well above US$90 or even US$100, should all of the potential risk in the market materialize", analysts including Ed Morse said in the note.

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