Oil drops as Iran signals support for OPEC production rise

Oil prices fell on Thursday as Iran signaled it could be won over to a small rise in OPEC crude output, potentially paving the way for the producer cartel to agree a supply increase during a meeting on Friday.

However, prices were prevented from dropping further by robust U.S. fuel demand seen in record refinery runs, strong travel data and a large decline in crude inventories.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $74.33 per barrel at 0426 GMT, down 41 cents, or 0.55 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were at $65.50 a barrel, down 21 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Iran, a major supplier within the producer cartel of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), signaled on Wednesday it could agree on a small increase in the group’s output during a meeting to be held at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna on June 22 together with non-OPEC member but top producer Russia.

Oil Prices Ease As Iranian Oil Minister Said He Supports Modest Supply Hike

© Reuters.  Oil prices eased on Thursday

Oil prices eased on Thursday as Iranian Oil Minister indicated Iran could accept a modest supply hike ahead of a key OPEC meeting in Vienna on Friday.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for August delivery were trading at $65.50 a barrel at 12:45AM ET (04:45 GMT), down 0.27%.

Brent Oil Futures for August delivery, traded in London, were also down 0.51% at $74.36 per barrel.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery were down 0.24% at 461.1 yuan per barrel on Thursday.

The OPEC is expected to agree to raise production along with Russia and other producers after a key meeting in Vienna on Friday.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that he was feeling “very good” about OPEC’s production levels and indicated Iran could accept a modest supply hike, contracting his comments on Wednesday where he doubted OPEC could reach a deal this week.


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