OPEC foresees stable oil production

Saudi energy minister rips Trump tweet: 'I do not influence oil prices'

Trump has repeatedly called for a hike in production by countries other than Iran to reduce oil prices, which have partially recovered since the December 2016 agreement, to trade close to $80 per barrel this month.

The United States is coordinating policy on sanctions and production closely with both Saudi Arabia and Russia; the US energy secretary has met both his Saudi and Russian counterparts in the last fortnight.

Meanwhile, the risk of escalating trade tensions between the USA and China could weigh on oil prices, with no improvement in relations between the two rivals in sight.

Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak on Sunday appeared to back a continuation of the partnership between OPEC and non-OPEC member states.

When Trump in May announced plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, the market estimated a cut of about 300,000 to 700,000 barrels a day, said Trafigura Group co-head of oil trading Ben Luckock.

Mr Trump said last week that OPEC "must get prices down". Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al Falih said that "I can not speak to prices because I do not directly influence prices".

Oil prices rose on Monday as US markets tightened just weeks ahead of Washington's plan to impose new sanctions against Iran.

Oil prices on Tuesday were within reach of four-year highs hit in the previous session, as looming USA sanctions against Iran and unwillingness by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to raise output supported the market, Reuters reports.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has accused Trump of orchestrating the oil price rally by imposing sanctions on Tehran and accused its regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia of bowing to United States pressure.

"It is now increasingly evident, that in the face of producers reluctant to raise output, the market will be confronted with supply gaps in the next 3-6 months that it will need to resolve through higher oil prices", BNP Paribas Oil Strategist Harry Tchilinguirian told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

OPEC's reticence, combined with signs of accelerating supply losses from Iran, created a bullish mood the annual gathering of the Asian oil industry, traders, refiners and bankers in Singapore on Monday.

Analysts claim that the most probable course of action for OPEC this weekend is to reaffirm its current policy, seeking a slight increase in production, to return to its goal of cutting production by 1.8 million barrels per day.

Falih said attending ministers "showed us that they have spare capacity that they are ready to deploy if there is demand for it, if it is required by any shortfall".

Iran's Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, centre, attends OPEC's 10th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee to monitor the oil production reduction agreement of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and non-OPEC members, in Algiers, Algeria, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. "My information is that the markets are adequately supplied".

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