Energy Stocks To Watch Ahead Of OPEC Meetings

Nigeria, S-Arabia, others disagree over oil supply

Opec and its allies reached a preliminary agreement in the face of strong opposition from Iran to boost production by a theoretical 1 million barrels a day - the actual increase will be smaller as several countries are unable to raise output.

"Our customers have spoken loudly and we must listen to them", Al-Falih said before the ministerial talks on Thursday.

"I am sure we will come to consensus, and we will look back at this meeting as being equally important to the one we had in late 2016 when we chose to take that first action we took as 24 countries of restricting supply to bring stability back to the market", he added. The International Energy Agency, which represents consuming nations, expects demand to grow more slowly in the second half of this year partly due to rising oil prices - but still 1.35 million barrels a day higher than the same period in 2017.

Benchmark U.S. crude hit its highest level in more than three years in May, but U.S. and worldwide prices have eased since then in anticipation that OPEC will approve more drilling. The measure has helped rebalance the market in the past 18 months and lifted oil to around $74 per barrel from as low as $27 in 2016.

Friday's meeting could be a tense affair.

Saudi Arabia is ready to add back production it had agreed to curb in 2016, even though it is benefiting hugely from a almost 75% spike in oil prices. He said OPEC could meet again in September to adjust the deal.

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The market is now under "OPEC-Watch" with numerous major players on the sidelines until the cartel along with Russian Federation makes its decision about production rates at its meeting in Vienna on June 22-23.

"Our customers have spoken loudly and we must listen to them", Falih said.

Opec used the opening of the meeting to make it clear the group did not want to see prices sliding too much because of a rise in supplies.

Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday, supported by a drop in USA commercial crude inventories reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Iran is usually not part of the committee, which includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria and Venezuela. However, because most countries can't increase production, that would probably translate to just 600,000 barrels coming back on to the market - an increase in global production of about 0.5 per cent.

The kingdom and its allies estimate that total cuts now amount to 2.8 million barrels a day.

If the existing deal is retained and Saudi Arabia felt there was a need to add more oil, Riyadh could still increase production unilaterally, as it did after a meeting in June 2011 ended with no decision. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

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