OPEC may raise oil output if prices increase, shortages mount: sources

DUBAI/LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – OPEC may raise oil output from July if Venezuelan and Iranian supply drops further and prices keep rallying, because extending production cuts with Russia and other allies could overtighten the market, sources familiar with the matter said. Venezuelan crude production has dropped below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) due to U.S. sanctions. Iranian supply could fall further after May if, as many expect, Washington tightens its sanctions against Tehran. The combined supply cuts have helped drive a 32 percent rally in crude prices this year to nearly $72 a barrel, prompting pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump for OPEC to ease its market-supporting efforts. OPEC has been saying the curbs must remain, but that stance is now softening. “If there was a big drop in supply and oil went up to $85, that’s something we don’t want to see so we may have to increase output,” one OPEC source said. The market outlook remains unclear and much depends on how far Washington tightens the screw on Iran and Venezuela before OPEC’s June meeting, the source added. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, are reducing output by… continue reading

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