SAUDI & U.S. OIL
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah briefly discussed global oil supplies during a meeting on the crisis in Iraq on Friday, a senior State Department official said.
During the talks, Kerry referred to recent comments by a Saudi oil official that the world's largest oil producer would increase supplies should crises in Iraq or Syria disrupt supplies, the official said.
"The secretary noted positively a recent statement from an oil official in the kingdom reflecting the kingdom's desire to do what will be required in the event of any turbulence," said the State Department official, who briefed reporters on the talks.
The official said Kerry believed the Saudi official's comments were "constructive."
U.S. officials have expressed the belief that concerns in oil markets will ease once a more inclusive government is formed in Baghdad that can deal with a Sunni insurgency threatening to break apart Iraq.
Saudi Arabia was Kerry's last stop in a week-long tour of capitals in Europe and the Middle East, which included a visit to Baghdad, to address the crisis that threatens to tear apart Iraq. The United States wants the Saudi Arabia to use its influence among fellow Sunnis in Iraq to press them to join the new government.
Brent crude oil was little changed in trading on Friday following one of the international benchmark's biggest weekly falls this year due to reduced concerns over exports from Iraq.
Prices have dropped more than $2 from a nine-month high of $115.71 hit on June 19 as output from Iraq's southern oilfields, which produce most of that nation's 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd), remained unaffected by fighting in the north and west.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.