Saudi says door open to future oil output hike

Trump's Blow to Iranian Oil Sparks Curious Price Divergence

Opec, which was meeting in Algiers on Sunday to discuss how to share out an increase in output to bring down prices, sees the USA as soaking up most of the growth in production over the next 10 years. Brent could rise to US$100 for the first time since 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies due to USA sanctions, according to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Trafigura Group.

The U.S. trade balance between imports and exports widened during that time, with net imports reaching 4.54 million barrels per day in August, up 56 percent from two months prior.

While viewing high demand as healthy, the organisation noted that the trend was fuelled by developing countries undergoing major demographic and general economic expansion.

The lukewarm response to Trump's tweet has seen global crude futures spike in Asian trade with both Brent and WTI front-month contracts jumping more than 1% to $79.88 and $71.60 per barrel respectively. But Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday such a move was not needed at the moment.

A source familiar with OPEC discussions told Reuters on Friday that OPEC and other producers have been discussing the possibility of raising output by 500,000 bpd.

It comes amid fears oil prices could hit an eye-watering $100 per barrel as United States sanctions against Iran begin. The biggest source of new global supply, US shale, is also experiencing growing pains as pipeline bottlenecks and workforce issues hamper growth.

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On Sept. 20, Trump sent a tweet demanding OPEC produce more to get oil prices down and goose the US economy.

Also Sunday, OPEC released its World Oil Outlook 2040 report.

Oil has rallied since the lows of August as speculation swirls over whether OPEC and its allies will boost production, with sanctions on the Middle East nation's exports set to take effect in November.

With markets showing signs of further tightening ahead of impending new Iran sanctions, traders and analysts are predicting that oil could scale above $90 per barrel. That suggests OPEC's power to influence the market will be tempered by US production for about another decade.

Yet the cartel and its allies gave mixed signals at a meeting in Algiers on Sunday, ultimately showing little sign they would heed USA demands to rapidly push down crude prices. Money managers' wagers on higher Brent crude prices are having their longest streak since November 2017, according to ICE Futures Europe data.

"Were they do so the oil market would be even more uncomfortably tight than we forecast for 2019 as spare capacity is eroded", Mr Bell added.

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