Oil stable, OPEC in focus after Trump call for lower prices

Oil prices fall amid surprise growth in U.S. crude stocks

Crude oil prices fell Thursday, slowing an upward surge that had pushed the market toward four-year highs, after U.S. President Trump called on Opec to "get prices down now!"

Trump's comments come ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting with Russian Federation and other big producers for the World Oil Outlook meeting in Algiers this weekend where they will discuss boosting output to push prices down and compensate for looming sanctions on Iranian oil.

US crude futures extended gains after the report, rising 86 cents to $70.72 a barrel by 10:53 a.m. EDT [14:53 GMT]. Please read our before commenting. Brent crude was up 3 cents at $79.06 a barrel. In the last two weeks, he has also met Novak and his USA counterpart Rick Perry.

Prices have traded mostly below $80 over the past few months on fears trade tensions between the USA and China could damp global demand.

Current inventory levels were also 142 million barrels less than the record-high 536 million barrels in March 2017.

The majority of OPEC's overall revenue fall next year is due to Iran's expected export plunge, while OPEC's statistics show some other members, especially Iran's Arab neighbors have been raising production and Libya is resuming the output rapidly.

Trump has earlier called for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - primarily cartel kingpin and United States ally Saudi Arabia - to raise their production, and warned importers to stop buying oil from Iran or face U.S. sanctions.

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Global benchmark Brent crude for November delivery was up 26 cents, or 0.33 per cent, at $78.96 a barrel by 0647 GMT.

Opec members and other producers, including Russian Federation, meet Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset the loss of Iranian barrels, Reuters reported.

While buyers have already reduced their purchases of Iranian oil due to the USA sanctions, it is not clear yet how other oil producing countries will be able to compensate for the loss of supply.

Weekly crude production inched back to 11 million bpd, the record high it has been hovering around this summer.

The focus on oil supply has been reflected in the options market this week, where investors have scooped up large amounts of buy or call options, suggesting they see prices rising. While Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have recently boosted output to compensate, it's unclear whether they're willing or able to offset all the losses from Iran.

The weekend gathering will discuss how to share the previously agreed output increase and examine whether the market needs more oil to offset the loss of Iranian supply as well as a decline in Venezuelan output, the sources said.

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