Oil stable, OPEC in focus after Trump call for lower prices

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery CLc1 fell 8 cents to $70.24 a barrel.

Trump's fresh Twitter intervention in the oil market comes before a meeting of ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies in Algeria on Sunday.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is anxious that any sanctions-related spike in oil prices will trigger fresh criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump but is concerned about a lack of spare oil capacity to offset shortages, the sources said.

Prices have risen as American sanctions curb Iran's oil exports.

Regarding Brent oil prices, Zanganeh stated that $80 per barrel would be a suitable price.

Rising U.S. gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump before November congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the U.S. economy.

Crude prices have been bolstered by declining Iranian crude exports, as the market prepares for the full imposition of US economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic's oil industry at the start of November.

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That figure has now nearly doubled in the last six years, though there was a dip between 2014 and early 2016 when the price of crude plunged and oil companies were forced to scale back operations. While Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have recently boosted output to compensate, it's unclear whether they're willing or able to offset all the losses from Iran.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 5 cents at $78.75 a barrel by 0424 GMT.

Though OPEC production has increased since July, Saudi Arabia has added less crude than it initially indicated.

Brent has been trading just below $80 a barrel, backed by concerns of supply shortages from looming USA sanctions against Iran, which are set to take effect in November.

Saudi officials believe there is insufficient oil demand so far to justify raising Saudi output much beyond the roughly 400,000 bpd that it has pumped above its 10 million bpd target, OPEC and industry sources told Reuters.

Though Saudi Arabia has never tested such high levels, it has said it pumped 10.7-10.8 million bpd in the past. It temporarily breached $80 a barrel last week for the first time since May, briefly returning to a more than 3½-year high.

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