Oil prices drop as supplies increase

"While oil demand in the US, China and India shows some upside potential, downside risks might limit this potential going forward, including a slowdown in the pace of economic growth in some major economies, stronger impact of policy reform with regard to retail prices, and further substitution toward natural gas", according to OPEC.

An oil production shortfall in Iran and Venezuela may force OPEC and Russian Federation to decide later this month to open their taps, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. OPEC members include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Earlier in the session, Brent and US crude had retreated on concerns about rising production in the United States and expectations that OPEC and other producers could relax voluntary output cuts.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was down 35 cents at $75.53 a barrel by 0730 GMT.

Although Saudi Arabia has benefited from oil's rally over the last two years, the government relies on a strong security relationship with the US, giving Washington some influence in the debate over OPEC policy.

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Oil prices have risen about 60 percent since past year after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers, including Russian Federation, began reducing output to cut excess supply, Reuters reported. Crude inventories fell by 4.1 million barrels in the week to June 8, exceeding analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. Russia's production was 11.1 million barrels a day in June, exceeding its quota, according to sources familiar with the matter. The Kingdom self-reported a production increase of 161,400 bpd to 10.030 million bpd, just below its ceiling of 10.058 million bpd. Prices have risen around 60 per cent over the past year.

Longer term, the market could tighten as demand increases if OPEC fails to cover supply shortfalls, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

OPEC revised up on Tuesday its 2018 forecast for total non-OPEC supply growth, while it left unchanged its projection for world oil demand growth at 1.65 million bpd this year.

"Prices will be above $150 in less than two years", he tweeted on Wednesday.

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