Iran to reject Saudi-Russia proposal to increase oil production

High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan

Oil prices rose nearly 3 percent on Friday as OPEC agreed a modest increase in output to compensate for losses in production at a time of rising global demand.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathered in Vienna amid calls from the United States, China and India to cool down the price of crude and prevent an oil deficit that would hurt the global economy.

Trump has in recent months repeatedly blamed OPEC for a spike in oil prices, but Zanganeh said it was USA sanctions on Iran and Venezuela that had fuelled fears of a supply crunch and put pressure on prices.

"How much oil do we need?. around 1 million (barrels per day, bpd) probably". Assuming that the main production continues, that will continue to drive inventories down, we think that that would be, you know, probably too short of a supply situation, that we can not allow to happen.

But prices may stall even without agreement-Saudi Arabia has already begun producing more oil than provisioned for under its production cap.

Ecuador's oil minister said he expects Friday's OPEC meeting to be hard, citing disagreements on a possible increase in crude output and Iran's demand that the gathering discuss US sanctions.

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Three OPEC sources said that if the proposal was approved, all OPEC members and their non-OPEC allies could raise supplies pro-rata, with Saudi Arabia adding about 0.25-0.3 million bpd.

OPEC members and independent producers began in early 2017 to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day in a bid to restore stability to oil markets.

The increase was announced after ministers from the group met on Friday in Vienna.

UAE's Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei arrives for the Opec meeting in Vienna.

Venezuela, in the throes of an economic crisis, is also opposed to easing the cartel's output curbs, as are several other countries, including Iraq and Nigeria, who would struggle to immediately increase production.

Prices are likely to remain volatile even after OPEC's decision because the trade conflict between the US and China could escalate.

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The problem for traders and ministers trying to estimate the price needed to rebalance the market is that consumption responds to price changes with a delay of six to 18 months.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that an OPEC output increase could total around 460,000 bpd. Zanganeh has said the United States president is to blame for high prices because of his unilateral withdrawal from the worldwide nuclear agreement.

He said Trump had contributed to the rise in prices by imposing sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela, which will likely lead to lower exports.

For OPEC, over-compliance with its oil supply-cutting deal is a nice problem to have.

Outside of OPEC, higher oil prices will spur USA shale producers into action, putting downward pressure on prices should they continue to rise. The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude priced US$66.49 per barrel, up 1.5 per cent from the last close, said the source.

Yergin said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support the current, tougher US policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia's rival for influence in the region.

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"I think it would create a carousel affect where China then buys more alternate grades and other importers buy more US grades", a trader with a global merchant said.

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