Al-Falih assesses OPEC+ deal perspectives

Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih

Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih

The sixth meeting of the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee on Trade, Economic and Scientific Cooperation was held in Moscow on Monday under co-chairmanship of Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Front-month Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $63.71 at 0017 GMT, 42 cents, or 0.7%, above Friday's close.

Barclays bank, in a note, said its economists had revised down their GDP growth outlook for the United States, China, India and Brazil - countries that account for more than three-quarters of their oil demand growth assumptions for this year.

Rig counts in the United States, an indicator of upstream investment activity, also fell to their lowest since February, pushing the West Texas Intermediate to above $54 per barrel.

There is a still a risk oil producers pump too much crude and prices fall, Novak said on Monday, suggesting he might support an extension of output cuts at a meeting of leading oil producers next month.

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The president said that he doesn't expect the latter to be " a problem " but would reinstate tariffs if necessary. He didn't elaborate, only stating that the details would be revealed at a later date.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-members, including Russian Federation, known collectively as OPEC+, have withheld supplies since the start of the year to prop up prices.

Demand sentiment remains weak as investors worry about a stalling global economy and an intensifying trade war between the USA and China.

On the demand side, analysts expect fuel consumption growth to stutter along with the global economy.

He said while Opec was close to agreement, more talks were needed with non-Opec countries which had agreed effective this past January 1, to slash output by 1.2 million barrels per day (Mmbpd), which expires the end of this month.

China's crude oil imports slipped to around 40.23 million tonnes (9.47 million barrels per day), down from an all-time peak of 43.73 million tonnes in April, customs data showed on Monday, as the world's top importer of the commodity curbed shipments from Iran amid tightening US sanctions on that country.

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