US President Donald Trump has been pressuring OPEC and in particular Saudi Arabia to ramp up output by as much as 2 million barrels a day
11 July, 2018, 15:42
They said zero-tolerance sanctions on Iran - the fourth-largest oil producer - could add $US50 per barrel to crude prices, which are up more than 25 per cent this year.
The move came as Iran - an OPEC member - faces renewed sanctions over Trump's decision to quit the worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran, which has added to supply concerns on world markets.
Consultants Kpler estimated the kingdom's oil exports rose by 407,000bpd in June to 7.62 million bpd compared with May.
U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for the first time in three weeks but the rate of growth has slowed over the past month or so with a decline in crude prices from late May through late June. The Iranian minister also criticized Trump's pressure on Saudi Arabia to increase its supplies and said such efforts would destabilize markets.
Iran's oil minister says there has been no significant change in the country's oil production and export despite USA pressures.
"An increase in production of this magnitude would wipe out the bulk of remaining spare capacity, globally".
The figures were contained in a communication from the kingdom to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ("Saudi Arabia raised oil output by around 500,000 bpd in June", Reuters, July 5). So much can change in oil markets in the course of a few weeks.
Experts are also doubtful if Saudi Arabia can mobilize its forces rapid enough to boost its oil production and specifically maintain the rise over a long period of time.
In the report, BMI said Saudi Arabia has sufficient capacity to keep the market "comfortably supplied", but said the benefits of this are outweighed by the costs.
Some observers question whether such high rates of production could be implemented quickly and sustained for any length of time.
Boosting production this way might risk a decline in oilfield pressure that could result in long-term damage to the reservoirs.
Domestic stocks had been drawn down to 234 million barrels at the end of April, the lowest level since November 2011.
The truth is, if the rest of the world followed Trump's demands and returned to sanctions and boycotting Iranian oil, some 2.7 million barrels per day now supplied by Iran would be very hard to make up elsewhere. "So it appears the oil market has little confidence that Saudi can manage to reach and maintain 11mn b/d and raise exports proportionally without continuing to draw down its inventories further".
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