Oil steady as Trump, Kim launch summit in Singapore

Opec Russia and other oil producers will be meeting next week to discuss the proposed rise in crude output

Opec Russia and other oil producers will be meeting next week to discuss the proposed rise in crude output

US oil prices settled higher on Monday as comments from the Iraqi oil minister cast doubt as to whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would decide to boost output.

OECD commercial oil inventories are now 26 million barrels below the five-year average as of April, the target that OPEC has said it is aiming for in its market rebalancing efforts, the OPEC report stated.

In the United States, output has risen by nearly a third in the last two years, to a USA record of 10.8 million bpd.

"Expect more of the same whippy markets driven by rumors and innuendo ahead of the June 22 Vienna OPEC meeting", Innes said.

Prices were weighed down by another rise in the number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States.

Before the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Saudi position was that the cuts would remain in place until the end of this year, as planned, even if OPEC were to overtighten the market.

There's one place that must be watched closely: the United States.

Higher oil prices create incentives for energy efficiency and biofuels, but only if the higher prices persist. Given that growing demand and the time it takes to bring new oil on-line in response to higher prices, it's no surprise prices have risen.

Saudi Arabia, which along with Russian Federation is trying to garner support for lifting output limits, told the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that its daily production rose 162,000 barrels a day to 10.030 million in May compared with the previous month, a person with knowledge of the data said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public.

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Brent crude futures were trading at $76.56 per barrel at 0201, up 10 cents from their last close.

On the other hand, earlier today in a published statement, Iraq's Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said that oil market still needed support and stability and argued that the market's higher supply could cause a big harm to the global markets.

The precise level of spare capacity available depends in part on how it is defined.

Iraq said OPEC should resist pressure to increase oil supplies, strengthening opposition to plans by Saudi Arabia as the group prepares to meet next week.

Non-OPEC supply for 2018 is expected to grow 1.86 million b/d from 2017 to 59.75 million b/d, OPEC said, a 130,000 b/d upward revision from last month's estimate.

Even as OPEC trims output, production from non-OPEC members, including the United States and Russian Federation, is rising.

The bloc's May output level is 870,000 b/d below its notional ceiling of about 32.74 million b/d, when every country's quota under the production cut deal is added up.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in January publicly floated the idea to extend the cooperation agreement which was struck by 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers in late 2016 to trim output to shore up prices.

Meanwhile, independent secondary sources used by the organization to track production estimated OPEC's May output at 31.87 million b/d.

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