Oil prices fall as Opec and Russian Federation weigh output boost

Workers climb the steps of an oil well at the Sindbad field near the Iraq Iran border in Basra Iraq

Workers climb the steps of an oil well at the Sindbad field near the Iraq Iran border in Basra Iraq

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 slumped $2.83, or 4 percent, to finish at $67.88 a barrel. The global benchmark lost about 2.7 percent this week, its largest weekly drop since early April.

Oil prices fell about $1 on Thursday, with expectations building that reduced supplies from Venezuela and Iran could prompt OPEC to wind down output cuts in place since the start of 2017.

While Russia and OPEC benefit from higher oil prices, up nearly 20 percent since the end of past year, their voluntary output cuts have opened the door to other producers, such as the USA shale sector, to ramp up production and gain market share.

WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) extends its losing streak into a fourth-day today, as rising worries over the latest report that the OPEC and non-OPEC producers are considering increasing the output by 1 mln bpd, adds to the ongoing sell-off in oil.

Current discussions are aimed at relaxing record-high compliance with the production cuts, the sources said, in an effort to cool the market after oil hit $80 a barrel on concerns over a supply shortage.

"Different options will be put forward".

Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

"We pride ourselves as friends of the United States", Barkindo told a panel with the Saudi and Russian energy ministers in St. Petersburg at Russia's main economic forum.

Global inventories have been broadly falling, even as US crude production has risen.

The U.S. oil rig count rose by 15 to 859 in the week to May 25, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said.

Speaking in St Petersburg, Falih said the easing of restrictions on pumping levels would be gradual to avoid a shock to the market.

The prospects of renewed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an global nuclear deal with Tehran have also boosted prices in recent weeks.

"It's the last Friday before a long weekend and the volume has a tendency to go down and with lower volume there's always a chance of higher volatility", Rollingson said.

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