Oil steady as higher output balances demand

Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices

Donald Trump reignites Opec spat over 'too high' oil prices

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is again blaming OPEC for high oil prices, even though crude futures have recently retreated from 3½-year highs on reports that his administration asked Saudi Arabia to manage the market. Most of that non-OPEC supply growth would come from the USA, it said.

Oil prices recovered Wednesday after data showed a sharp drop in USA inventories, even as production jumped toward 11 million, while President Trump again blamed OPEC for high oil prices.

Under one scenario weighed by the IEA, output from Venezuela and Iran by the end of 2019 could be 1.5 million barrels per day lower than it is today.

"We agreed to promote (business-to-business) cooperation... and we are hopeful that in future buyers will be able to dictate prices", oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said after meeting China National Petroleum Corporation chairman Wang Yilin and Li Fanrong, deputy administrator of China's National Energy Administration, on the sidelines of the 16th International Energy Forum ministerial round in April.

The 14-country bloc's next meeting is June 22, when ministers will gather in the Austrian capital amid speculation that Saudi Arabia may push for more flexibility on production quotas in anticipation of sustained declines in Venezuela and the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

A flag with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) logo is seen before a news conference at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, December 10, 2016.

US light crude CLc1 was up 40 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $66.76 a barrel.

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IRAQ said Opec should resist pressure to increase oil supplies, strengthening opposition to Saudi Arabia's plans as the group prepares to meet next week.

"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the USA and European oil futures contracts. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High!

Saudi Arabia has floated several oil output hike plans to fellow OPEC members, including one with a two-step increase, as the kingdom seeks ways to narrow differences with Russian Federation and the rest of the cartel, according to people briefed on the discussions.

But the USA request and a Trump tweet in April that blamed OPEC for high oil prices has caused a split within the oil group, with some members accusing Saudi Arabia of being too eager to do Trump's bidding.

After all, India and China are slated to fuel half of the global demand growth in energy in the next five years. Prices have risen around 60 percent over the a year ago.

In the letter, the senators said a run-up in oil prices is "effectively a tax on every American family's discretionary budget" since the price of oil directly affects the price of gasoline. Trump tweeted on April 20.

The U.S. has lobbied Saudi Arabia and other members, arguing they need to raise output by 1 million barrels a day to keep prices in check, people told Bloomberg News earlier this month.

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