Brent rises above $80 as OPEC stops short of pledging more output

Brent rises above $80 as OPEC stops short of pledging more output

Brent crude climbed above $80 a barrel after OPEC and its allies signaled less urgency to boost output despite U.S. pressure to temper prices.

Futures in London rose as much as 1.7%. OPEC and its partners gave a tepid response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that rapid action be taken to reduce prices, saying they would boost output only if customers wanted more cargoes. Brent could rise to $100 for the first time since 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies due to U.S. sanctions, according to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Trafigura Group.

Oil has rallied since the lows of August as speculation swirls over whether OPEC and its allies will boost output as the sanctions on the Middle East nation’s exports nears. Still, a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China could imperil global economic growth that underpins crude demand as the two countries begin a new round of tariffs on each other’s goods.

Brent for November settlement rose as much as $1.63 to $80.43 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange and traded at $80.32 at 3:21 p.m. in Tokyo. The contract advanced 10 cents to $78.80 on Friday. The global benchmark traded at an $8.29 premium to West Texas Intermediate for the same month.

WTI for November delivery added $1.25 to $72.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed 46 cents to $70.78 on Friday. Total volume traded was about 26% above the 100-day average.

Saudi Arabia signaled the kingdom is in no rush to bring oil prices down from current levels. “The market is well-supplied,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said after the OPEC meeting in Algeria over the weekend. "The reason Saudi Arabia didn’t increase more is because all of our customers are receiving all of the barrels they want," Bloomberg cited him as saying.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, in turn, at a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih that OPEC+ may offer big projects to oil companies from member states.

"Russia would like the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which has proved effective, to continue its activities. We are ready to discuss the expansion of the tools it uses to exchange information on the oil market situation. In addition, the committee may help implement big projects involving companies from OPEC+ countries," TASS cited him as saying.

According to him, there is no need for OPEC+ to change oil production quotas. "The situations in countries are different, so we said in June that there was no need to change everyone’s quotas. We need to discuss common figures," Novak said, when asked if participants in the OPEC+ meeting in Algeria would discuss Iran’s quota.