IRANIAN POSITIVE SIGNALS
According to REUTERS, Iran and Ecuador on Wednesday discussed ways that the two countries can strengthen oil prices as Iran signals it may support joint efforts by exporters to prop up flagging crude.
Iran has been boosting output since Western sanctions were eased in January. Tehran refused to join a previous attempt this year by OPEC plus non-members such as Russia to stabilize production, and talks collapsed in April.
But Reuters reported on Tuesday that sources in OPEC and the oil industry said Iran is sending positive signals on taking joint action, which could help revive a deal on freezing output levels at talks next month.
"We have held conversations on strengthening our position in oil markets," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said through an interpreter after a meeting with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa.
Zarif added that the two countries have agreed to continue talks within the framework of OPEC, without providing further details.
Ecuador Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said they discussed establishing a common position with regards to strengthening oil prices.
Ecuador, OPEC's smallest member, has consistently supported calls by ideological ally and oil price hawk Venezuela to boost crude prices. Since the 2014 collapse in oil markets, the group has remained more focused on retaining market share.
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.