Trump renews attack on OPEC ahead of group's production meeting

With demand for oil strong, Morgan Stanley said the group's "production is likely to creep higher".

Then there is Iran, OPEC's third-biggest producer.

The agency is forecasting global oil demand will grow by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 - topping 100 million bpd in the second quarter of the year.

An oil production shortfall in Iran and Venezuela may force OPEC and Russian Federation to decide later this month to open their taps, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the USA and European oil futures contracts.

The report estimated that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 million bpd, and there could be more output from Russian Federation.

Saudi Arabia has floated several plans to fellow OPEC members as the kingdom seeks consensus before the meeting in Vienna next week.

"To make up for the losses, we estimate that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 mb/d and there could be more output from Russian Federation on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non-OPEC supply numbers", it added.

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"However, even if the Iran-Venezuela supply gap is plugged, the market will be finely balanced next year, and vulnerable to prices rising higher in the event of further disruption".

On the sidelines of the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will meet to discuss oil policy, Bloomberg added. A gallon of regular gasoline is now $2.91, up 25 percent from the year-ago level.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck a deal in late 2016 to trim production by 1.8 million barrels per day to reduce a global glut that had sent prices crashing. Instead of getting a discount for bulk purchases, West Asian producers such as Saudi Arabia, charge a so-called "Asian Premium" for shipments to Asian buyers, including India and Japan, as opposed to Europe.

The talks come within less than two months of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan proposing an alliance between Indian and Chinese staterun oil companies for a greater say in the market. "The real catalyst for the recent rise in prices is the sanctions on Iran".

A man fixes a sign with OPEC's logo next to its headquarters' entrance before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, November 29, 2017.

Crude stockpiles fell by 4.1 million, and gasoline supplies fell by 2.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.

OPEC itself spotlighted U.S. output in its own monthly report on Tuesday, citing the growth of non-OPEC supply as one of several question marks hanging over the situation.

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