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Russian Federation says OPEC, non-OPEC to discuss output scenarios in Algeria

22 September 2018

The longer-term outlook remains weighed down, however, by an escalation in the China-U.S. trade war that has clouded the outlook for crude demand.

WTI crude for October delivery, which expires Thursday, was at $70.06 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 21 cents. Speculation has also been swirling over whether a potential supply gap can be filled as American sanctions curb Iran's oil exports.

The prospect of Russian Federation and the USA working together to achieve global supply and demand objectives is intriguing given the long-standing rivalry between the US and OPEC; but it makes sense when one considers that both the USA and Russian Federation have a strong mutual ally in energy matters, namely, Saudi Arabia.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Monday that Washington would slap 10% tariffs on another $200 billion Chinese imports, except smart watches from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Fitbit and other consumer products including bicycle helmets and baby vehicle seats.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 9 cents at $78.92 per barrel 0334 GMT, after rising 1.3 percent in the previous session.

"As countries like South Korea stop using crude from the Islamic Republic, Saudi Arabia is going to try and fill that gap and we will see less capacity in the global supply chain of crude". The world's biggest crude exporter believes it may no longer be possible to avoid higher prices as US sanctions on Iranian exports crimp supply, according to people familiar with Saudi Arabia's view.

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US crude inventories fell 2.1 million barrels last week to 394.1 million barrels, the lowest level since February 2015, government data showed.

Reuters reported on September 5 that Saudi Arabia wanted oil to stay between $70 and $80 to keep a balance between maximizing revenue and keeping a lid on prices until USA congressional elections.

Global oil prices edged up from early losses on Monday despite assurances from Washington that Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States can raise output fast enough to offset falling supplies from Iran and elsewhere.

Brent may fall more than $1 to $76.37 a barrel, while WTI crude prices may revisit their September 14 low of $67.94, he wrote.

Iran is a "very important producer and exporter" of oil, the group's Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said at an event in the United Arab Emirates city of Fujairah.

On Monday, Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that OPEC and non-OPEC members will discuss all possible supply scenarios when they meet this month in Algeria.

Russian Federation says OPEC, non-OPEC to discuss output scenarios in Algeria