Iran expects OPEC to stick to supply limits

President Donald Trump is blasting OPEC again for a spike in oil prices that threatens to slow America's cruising economy and anger voters before the midterm election

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is again blaming OPEC for high oil prices, even though crude futures have recently retreated from 3½-year highs on reports that his administration asked Saudi Arabia to manage the market.

Even if the supply gap, triggered by the return of USA sanctions on Iran and a major political crisis in Venezuela, is plugged, the oil market will likely remain vulnerable to disruption next year, the IEA warned.

Oil prices eased on Thursday, dragged down by rising output, although strong demand and a drop in USA fuel inventories provided the market with some support. "There is no need for a change in the level of production", said Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, who serves as one of the country's representatives to the group.

The oil market is on high alert ahead of the June 22 meeting, sector analysts reported, saying there were signs that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation would push for higher production ceilings at the meeting.

OPEC is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, turning positive after USA government data showed a bigger weekly draw than expected in domestic crude inventories along with unexpected declines in gasoline and distillate stocks.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he expected a reasonable and moderate agreement next week when OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers meet.

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Meanwhile, the market was also weighing a surprise drop in U.S. crude stocks figures, which is typically bullish for the market.

Oil ministry officials also said that with firm oil prices, a rising import bill, $450 billion of external debt, including oil-related debt, govternment's hands are tied and there is no scope for fuel price reduction. Another idea would see an immediate increase of 500,000 barrels, followed by a similar rise in the fourth quarter.

On the sidelines of the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will meet to discuss oil policy, Bloomberg added.

"The prospect of easing supply curbs from OPEC-led producers continues to be reflected in oil's overall depressed price", said Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM.

Barely recovered from the roller coaster ride of recent weeks, traders are holding their breath for the June 22 meeting of oil ministers from OPEC member states in Vienna.

Those against an increase this time are concerned it would threaten the unity of the 24-nation alliance involved in the deal and say forecasts from OPEC and others calling for higher demand in the second half of 2018 are too optimistic. Trump tweeted in April.

Cumulative crude oil output from Nigeria's oil industry decreased from 1.88million barrels per day (mbd) in April to 1.73 mbd in May, indicting steady decline as host community issues and social instability in operating environment begin to impact production.

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