Opec and allies struggle to pump more oil as Iran supply falls

Saudi energy minister rips Trump tweet: 'I do not influence oil prices'

"We will consider waivers where appropriate but it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed", Pompeo said earlier this month.

Major oil trading houses are predicting the return of $100 crude for the first time since 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies because of USA sanctions. "As a result, the strength of oil prices is now putting oil demand growth at risk", he added.

It remains to be seen if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will raise output to offset dwindling supplies.

Oil rallied after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners stopped short of pledging immediate production increases even though looming US sanctions on Iran have started removing barrels from the market. This comes after the US Congress has reconsidered legislation aimed at preventing OPEC from manipulating oil prices.

"I do not influence prices", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih told reporters as OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers gathered in Algiers for a meeting that ended with no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost.

Some have said softening demand from trade tensions between the US and China to offset loss of Iranian supply, but Tradition's McGillian said that unless trade tensions show signs of eroding Chinese demand, oil prices will surge further. At the same time, global oil demand is nearing 100 million barrels per day, a historical high.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose to 71.52 dollars a barrel.

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OPEC and other producers allies tried in the Algerian capital to reassure the market that more oil is coming but stopped short of committing to the urgent supply boost that some people are looking for - notably US president Donald Trump.

Last year, Opec and other oil-producing nations including Russian Federation said they would extend a deal, first agreed in 2016, to cut production to help support oil prices after they fell below $50 a barrel.

Iranian leaders have already threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, the world's busiest sea route for crude oil exports.

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their combined net long position in the six most important petroleum contracts by just 3 million barrels to 1.049 billion barrels.

However, while much was made of the cartel's decision being a rejection of Trump insisting that output should increase in order to lower prices, it seemed instead to be in line with the perception that - again, contrary to fears of a tightening market due to production shortfalls in Iran and Venezuela - that all is fine with the global market.

The OPEC countries and their partners have agreed on the need to maintain dialogue between them and consuming countries, considering that this would allow prices to serve the economy of both parties. "My information is that the markets are adequately supplied".

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