OPEC reaches deal to raise oil output from July

"Globally, crude prices have gone beyond the threshold, which can be sustained by the world, particularly countries like India, which is a key driver of world economy", Mr. Pradhan said at an OPEC conference in Vienna.

"We need to continue to tread carefully; none of us want to see the return of the kind of volatility that allows pessimism to return to the markets", Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the UAE energy minister and president of the Opec conference, said.

He said that the world could face a supply deficit of up to 1.8 million barrels a day in the second half of the year, and maintained that it is OPEC's responsibility to address that imbalance.

"The most important thing is the consumers", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Thursday. The talks, held as the cartel hosted an worldwide energy conference attended by hundreds of officials, executives and investors, will shape oil prices, energy stocks and currencies of petroleum-exporting countries for months to come.

With fewer than 24 hours to go before a pivotal meeting, Saudi Arabia urged OPEC to help consumers by boosting oil supply as opposition from arch-rival Iran showed signs of wavering.

Brent crude last month surged to a more than three-year high above $80 a barrel.

De-facto OPEC leader and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia as well as Russian Federation which is not a member of the cartel but the world's biggest oil producer, are pushing for looser supply controls.

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Trump slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran in May and market watchers expect Iran's output to drop by a third by the end of 2018.

When OPEC and its allies, which include Russia, Kazakhstan and Mexico, agreed to cut output in late 2016, they announced a 1.8 million-barrel-a-day reduction.

Several other OPEC members, including Venezuela and Iraq, are also against major changes to the pact as they are unable to immediately boost production. Iran is usually not part of the committee, which includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria and Venezuela.

The most recent price rally followed an OPEC decision to restrict supply in an effort to drain global inventories. Current compliance is around 40-50 per cent above target because of production outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola. Other OPEC-members, including Iran, have opposed this, resulting in a flurry of backdoor diplomacy ahead of the meeting, which starts on Friday. A big OPEC deal- adding more than 1 million barrels - could cause prices to dip into the $2.60s or $2.70s this summer, he said.

Falih also said the real increase for OPEC and non-OPEC would be smaller than the nominal gain of 1 million bpd.

"This puts Saudi Arabia in a tough position, as unanimity is needed for any accord to be reached", it added.

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