IRAN - OPEC DECISION
PLATTS - Iran will not accept any proposals for OPEC to raise its quotas, the country's oil minister said Tuesday, adding that even a 500,000 b/d increase "is not necessary."
"Decisions in OPEC need unanimity," Bijan Zanganeh said on arrival in Vienna ahead of OPEC talks this week. "I don't think at this meeting we can reach an agreement."
He said the oil market was in balance for this year, and that current oil prices were acceptable.
OPEC was overcomplying with its cut commitments by about 1 million b/d, he added, so the organization does not need to institute a formal increase in quotas to bring that amount of oil back onto the market.
"I don't agree with any increase," Zanganeh said. "We have no difficulty with this level of price."
OPEC will decide on the future of its output cut agreement Friday, with Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC partner Russia pushing for the producer bloc to roll back its quotas by as much as 1.5 million b/d to make up for any supply gap caused by Venezuela's continued decline and the potential impact of US sanctions on Iran.
The agreement calls on OPEC and 10 non-OPEC allies to cut 1.8 million b/d through the end of the year.
Iran, Venezuela and Iraq have said they are vehemently opposed to any decision to raise production limits.
Iranian government spokesman Mohammad-Bagher Nobakht said earlier Wednesday that Iran's priority at the meeting would be to preserve its current quota of 3.797 million b/d, as it seeks to prepare itself against tough US economic sanctions.
"When it comes to oil, each country considers its own national interest," the spokesman said, as quoted in the oil ministry news service Shana, "our efforts are to preserve our quota in OPEC despite the enemy's plot," he added, referring to the US' withdrawal from the nuclear deal by President Donald Trump.
Iran has been hit by renewed US sanctions that are due to come into force in November, which could potentially reduce output by up to 1 million b/d if tightly enforced.
Iran produced 3.83 million b/d in May, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey.
OPEC as a whole produced 31.90 million b/d in May, according to the survey, 840,000 b/d below its ceiling under the deal, when every member's quota is added up.
TRUMP BLAMED FOR RECENT OIL-PRICE INCREASE
Zanganeh said he was not concerned if non-OPEC partners, particularly Russia, would walk away from the deal.
"We don't deal with non-OPEC," he said. "They can do whatever they want."
Zanganeh blamed Trump for causing the recent rise in oil prices through sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
Trump has tweeted at OPEC to moderate oil prices, and US officials have reached out to Saudi Arabia to loosen its taps.
"President Trump has created a difficulty for the oil market by imposing sanctions against two important founder members of OPEC, and now expects OPEC to change something for the better price in the market," Zanganeh said. "It is not fair. OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States."
He added that oil "is not a political tool to be used against some countries," and that OPEC should remain apolitical in its pursuit of stable oil markets.
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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.