Opec agree­ment to boost oil out­put in­evitable, says Saudi Ara­bia

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - ELENA MAZNEVA & STEPAN KRAVCHENKO

Oil stead­ied just below $67 a bar­rel as Saudi Ara­bia’s en­ergy min­is­ter said an Opec agree­ment to raise pro­duc­tion is ‘in­evitable’.

Fu­tures in New York rose 0.5 per cent af­ter a 1.4 per cent in­crease in the past 3 ses­sions. Af­ter talks in Moscow on Wednesday night, Saudi en­ergy min­is­ter Khalid Al-Falih said on Thursday he ex­pects Opec to reach a deal to grad­u­ally boost out­put. His Rus­sian coun­ter­part Alexan­der No­vak said they agree on the need for an in­crease, but the vol­ume and tim­ing of the ex­tra pro­duc­tion are still un­der dis­cus­sion.

Opec and its al­lies will meet next week in Vi­enna at what’s likely to be a con­tentious sum­mit. Saudi Ara­bia and Rus­sia are fac­ing op­po­si­tion from Iraq, Iran and Venezuela on their pro­posal to re­lax out­put caps, while the US con­tin­ues to crit­i­cise the car­tel for boost­ing prices.

WTI crude for July de­liv­ery traded at $66.94 a bar­rel on the NYME, up 30 cents. The con­tract climbed 28 cents to $66.64 on Wednesday. To­tal vol­ume traded on Thursday was 21 per cent below the 100day av­er­age. Brent fu­tures for Au­gust set­tle­ment traded at $76.80 a bar­rel on the ICE, up 6 cents.

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