Trump, OPEC, and the Oil Market's Razor Thin Spare Capacity

Iran to allow private sector to export oil, beat US sanctions

Iran announces plan to circumvent US oil sanctions

Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, exports about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day. The U.S. president and the Saudi King spoke on Friday, according to the White House.

There have been reports all over the financial media that president Trump is demanding that Saudi Arabia increase production by 2 million barrels per day.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said. "So, in terms of the USA, here, we've seen oil prices rise in the aftermath of the OPEC meeting".

Oil is trading near US$78 a barrel, holding most of a rally that saw prices rise to the highest level in more than three years after OPEC's output increase plan was overshadowed by supply disruptions in Libya, Canada and Venezuela.

Spare capacity, especially from OPEC countries, is an important measure by analysts to determine major oil exporters' ability to respond to rising demand. Adnoc, as the company is known, can pump as much as 3.3 million barrels of crude a day and will increase output capacity to 3.5 million barrels daily by the end of the year.

Oil prices are giving observers vertigo.

Prior to Trump's public berating, Bill Richardson, the energy secretary during the second administration of Bill Clinton, phoned the Saudi oil minister in the middle of an OPEC meeting in 2000 asking for a production increase, enraging other members of the cartel and exacerbating a schism between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The move comes two months after US President Donald Trump announced US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

European Union warns Trump that raised vehicle import tariffs would hurt US
General Motors also warned that proposed tariffs on foreign cars and parts could result in fewer cars being built on USA soil. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 12 cents to $74.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday after Libya declared force majeure on some of its crude exports, while the loss of Canadian supplies helped lifted USA crude to 3-1/2-year highs.

This week's price action indicates the market appears to have absorbed the recent announcement that an OPEC-led group and Russian Federation will raise output by about 1 million bpd.

Q: What does Trump want from OPEC?

Monica Malik, chief economist, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, welcomed the UAE's decision to hike output later this year as it will bring stability in the oil market and also improve government revenues from hydrocarbon sector.

Last month, Tadawul won Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) emerging market (EM) status, the global index compiler said in its annual review for 2018.

Despite the relief from Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, oil markets remain tense because of unplanned outages from Canada to Venezuela and Libya.

Turkey has also said it would keep up Iranian crude imports, while China, the largest consumer of Iranian crude oil, has criticised the United States for withdrawing from the deal.

China's customs agency said on its website that Chinese tariffs on US goods would immediately be implemented in retaliation.

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