OIL PRICES: STILL ABOVE $51
According to REUTERS, oil prices fell on Monday as Iraq said it wanted to be exempt from an OPEC deal to cut production, though losses were capped by Iran saying it would encourage other members to join an output freeze.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 18 cents at $51.60 a barrel by 0725 ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 37 cents at $50.48.
Iraqi oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said Baghdad wants to be exempt from any production cut the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is aiming to achieve.
Falah al-Amiri, head of Iraqi state oil marketer SOMO, added that Iraq's market share had been compromised by the wars it has fought since the 1980s.
"We should be producing 9 million (barrels per day) if it wasn't for the wars," he said.
OPEC announced plans last month to reduce its output to between 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and 33 million bpd, from September's 33.39 million bpd. The group will iron out the details of how it will hit the target at its next meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30.
"A decision to cut to 33 million bpd should keep the crude price basis Brent in the $50-$60 band, not least because it shows that Saudi policy has changed, that OPEC is serious and can rise above political disagreements," David Hufton, of consultancy PVM, said in a note.
Iraq said it could raise output slightly this month from September's 4.774 million bpd.
A short-term cap in oil output would reduce market volatility, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday at a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo, as both look to stabilize prices.
Comments from Iran's deputy oil minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia, however, helped to push prices higher earlier in the session. He said Tehran would encourage other OPEC members to join an output freeze, adding that $55-$60 a barrel is a fair price to bring stability to the market.
Analysts said that oil markets, which have been dogged by two years of oversupply, might be rebalancing in terms of production and consumption.
"The market moved into a small deficit in Q3, will remain so in Q4 and then the deficit will expand significantly in 2017," Barclays bank said in a note to clients.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.