India plans to cut oil imports from Iran?, say officials

Institutional Positioning Data per CFTC Commitment of Traders Favors Crude Bulls

Crude oil continues to run. Up 1.9% on the day.

As such, the addition of 1 mb/d from Saudi Arabia alone would lead to the OPEC+ group exceeding the production levels they just committed to, after factoring in additions from Russian Federation and other Gulf States.

For North America, Innes said "the market continues to focus on Syncrude Canada where 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) remain in limbo after a transformer blew and shut a critical oil sands upgrader on June 2". Saudi Arabia could divert extra barrels into storage.

More importantly, Saudi Arabia and its allies account for nearly all the organisation's spare production capacity and therefore nearly all its production flexibility. "But investors are a bit wary as to whether this rally will continue, as there are many factors that could drag down prices, such as an actual increase in Opec production".

Iran may be Russia's ally in the Syrian conflict but when it comes to oil, Tehran's arch-enemy Saudi Arabia takes precedence - if last week's OPEC meeting in Vienna is anything to go by. If that did not sound tough enough, she clarified, "All of us have to rethink who we choose to do business with".

US President Donald Trump has publicly urged OPEC to lower prices.

Officials in the ministries of external affairs, oil and finance are grappling with the import of Trump's latest statement on Iran sanctions.

However, Falih was determined to overcome the opposition.

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In addition, top exporter Saudi Arabia plans to raise output to make up for lost supplies.

Closed-door meetings paid off, with Falih managing to persuade Zanganeh to accept the production boost Riyadh and Russian Federation had been championing.

But the real decisions on production policy are now being made bilaterally and outside the OPEC and OPEC+ structures. As a result any supply boost would be insignificant, it was suggested.

Now, OPEC produces a third of the world's crude, while Saudi Arabia, combined with non-OPEC members Russian Federation and the United States, pump more.

"The OPEC+ agreement to elevate output still leaves production restraints in place, limiting the market's ability to rebuild inventories while decreasing spare production capacity", said French bank BNP Paribas. The handover involved ports with a combined export capacity of 800,000 barrels.

The final Opec communique may have deliberately, at the behest of Falih, left out any mention of the exact amount of the planned output rise to silence Iran and its allies struggling with meeting their assigned quotas. Russian Federation is the largest non-member state contributor to OPEC effort and few countries have the spare capacity available to respond to potential supply-side shocks.

Iran had struck the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal with the USA, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations.

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