OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia seeks oil as high as $100

OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia seeks oil as high as $100

Instead, we're hearing more reports that OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia would rather overtighten the market, shooting for oil prices higher than the current around $73 a barrel Brent, which is already a more than a three-year high. On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration released a reportshowing oil inventories in the US fell by 1.1 million barrels last weekto about 428 million barrels.

The cartel's supply cut appears to be working because prices are rising at a time when US oil put is reaching near record levels and continuing to rise.

Brent for June settlement added $1.13 to $72.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after touching $72.84, the highest since April 16.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) will make a recommendation to OPEC about whether or not the production cut deal should be extended into 2019.

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The oil market has been supported by concerns about geopolitical tension and supply disruptions in crude-producing nations.

The cartel and its partners will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, tomorrow, and Opec will meet on 22 June to review the cuts.

Gasoline demand was almost 9.9 million barrels a day.

At 427.6 million barrels, US crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time of the year.

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Also supporting prices is the possibility that the United States might re-impose sanctions on Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, which could result in further supply reductions from the Middle East.

Talk that Saudi Arabia has its sights on $80-$100 a barrel oil again and of more USA sanctions on Russian Federation triggered wild swings in trading of commodities on Thursday, though the potential boost to inflation hit fixed-income assets.

"The product draws were a bit surprising", PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said, referring to the drop in gasoline and distillate inventories reported by API.

OPEC has since reversed course, reaching a deal with Russian Federation and other oil producers to cut output by 1.8 million barrels a day starting in January 2017.

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Once the Aramco share float is done, Riyadh would still want higher prices to help fund initiatives such as Vision 2030, an economic reform plan championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The contract was last up $1.63, or 2.5 percent, at $68.15.

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