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11 July 2018, 03:55 | Austin Hogan
Iran's oil minister has hit back at Trump over production demands
Oil prices rose on Monday as investors focused on tight market conditions after data late last week showed United States crude inventories fell to their lowest in more than three years.
President Trump's response has been to demand that OPEC boost its oil production by two million barrels per day to calm markets and bring prices down.
There have been reports that Saudi Arabia has boosted its oil production by nearly half a million bpd in June, and the UAE has spare capacity of between 400,000 and 600,000 bpd, Al-Mazrouei said, adding that OPEC as a whole has enough spare capacity to offset any shortage.
Zanganeh said Iranian oil production and exports had not changed as a result of US pressures.
However, it has not produced more than 10.42 million bpd on an annual basis or 10.63 million bpd in a single month in the last 20 years.
OPEC and Russian Federation and other producers last month agreed to add 1 million barrels to the market.
He added that 1.2 million Iranian barrels a day were off the market the last time Iran was sanctioned, but that was possible because US shale drilling was growing at a rapid pace, demand was lower and Libyan output had come back to the market to make up for some of the Iranian output.
The market has grown concerned that if the Saudis offset the losses from Iran, that will use up global spare capacity and leave markets more vulnerable to further or unexpected production declines.
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On Saturday, Zanganeh was quoted as saying that the United States president had insulted OPEC by trying to force Saudi Arabia to increase its production.
Blanch is skeptical that the kingdom could pump 12 million or more barrels a day.
Some spare capacity might require drilling new wells within existing fields, in which case it is not strictly speaking spare capacity at all. But now there is growing worry that even a one-million-bpd increase will not be enough.
Domestic stocks had been drawn down to 234 million barrels at the end of April, the lowest level since November 2011.
The comments this morning follow on from yesterday's news that Saudi Arabia raised oil output by about 500,000 barrels per day in June.
Stringent sanctions on Iran will take both Saudi Arabia and the oil market into the unknown.
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