IRAQ WANTS MORE
REUTERS wrote, Iraq's prime minister said the country has not yet reached its full oil market share, suggesting his government would not restrain crude output as part of any possible OPEC agreement to lift prices.
"And the capping, we are not open to that because Iraq is still below what it should produce," Haider al-Abadi told reporters, responding to a question about whether the second-largest OPEC producer would be open to such a deal.
Venezuela, whose economy like Iraq's has been hit hard by the oil price collapse, has for months sought to rally producers toward an agreement to limit production. Despite rising this year, oil at around $49 a barrel is less than half its level of mid-2014.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to meet informally in Algeria next month on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF). Russia is also expected to attend the IEF.
Abadi's comments come as sources in OPEC and the oil industry told Reuters Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, was sending positive signals that it may support joint action to prop up the oil market.
Tehran refused to join an attempt in April to freeze output at January levels, scuppering those talks because Saudi Arabia said it wanted all producers to join the initiative.
Iraq, which depends on oil sales for 95 percent of its public spending, appears set to continue boosting production, which currently stands at around 4.6 million barrels per day.
The Baghdad government resumed partial pumping from fields in Kirkuk operated by state-run North Oil Company (NOC) via a Kurdish pipeline to Turkey, the oil ministry said on Thursday without explanation.
Oil flow had stopped in March because of a dispute between Abadi's government and authorities in the autonomous Kurdish region over control of oil resources.
Abadi said on Tuesday the decision was made in order to extract gas associated with oil and avoid damage to reservoirs.
"We have to produce oil in order to get gas," he told the news conference in Baghdad.
"This is a very old oil field, if this field does not produce oil, it can be degraded... So we were told to pump oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan," he said, referring to the Turkish Mediterranean port where the pipeline delivers crude for international oil sales.
Abadi also said Iraq may base its public budget for 2017 on an oil price of $35 per barrel, about the same level as this year after it was lowered from an initial forecast of $45 a barrel. Iraq sells its crude at a discount to international oil prices.
The price assumption for 2017 could still be changed by parliament which has to approve it, Abadi's spokesman said separately.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.