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Global Energy Advisory - June 15th 2018

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Crude oil prices are back on the seesaw as the market prepares for next week’s OPEC+ meeting in Vienna. Most analysts expect the group to agree to start raising crude oil production gradually, although there are those uwho oppose such a move, such as Iraq and Iran.

Iraq has been particularly vocal in its opposition to a production recovery although it has been the OPEC member that has most consistently failed to cut production to its assigned quota. However, now Baghdad is angry with Riyadh and Moscow: both Saudi Arabia and Russia have already upped their crude oil production ahead of the meeting.

President Trump, meanwhile, has launched another Twitter offensive against OPEC, blaming the cartel for keeping oil prices high even though both Brent and WTI are palpably lower now than they were in April, when Trump railed against OPEC’s cuts for the first time.

Russia’s Alexander Novak has said Russia and Saudi Arabia are in agreement about a gradual increase of production but this agreement would not mean much if Iraq and Iran try to put their foot down. If this happens and the June 22 meeting ends with no unanimous decision, it would not mean that everyone will keep pumping at the lower levels. It means that a lot of producers will start cheating and production will be higher again.

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