Oil prices could rise to $100 a barrel by 2019, warn merchants


Brent crude climbed above US$80 a barrel to its highest level since November 2014 and West Texas Intermediate has been trading more than two per cent higher Monday after OPEC and its allies signaled less urgency to boost output, despite USA pressure to temper prices.

"I do not influence prices", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters on Sunday.

The lack of an immediate response to Trump's demand adds to speculation about the group's ability, or willingness, to push oil down from near $80 a barrel.

Although the Opec report shies away from making price predictions, motorists are unlikely to see much in the way of relief on the forecourts. Trump wrote on Sunday. The US president has called it a "monopoly" and urged it to "get prices down now". Furthermore, it leaves the market extremely vulnerable to supply disruptions.

Iran itself faces the prospect of much lower oil exports and output in coming months due to fresh USA sanctions. Word has gotten out that the JMMC, operating beyond its mandate, is to provide a figure for increasing oil supply under the pretext of the so-called "offsetting shortages caused by Iran's Production Reduction'".

The statement from Trump, meanwhile, was not his first criticism of OPEC.

It is thought the President wants lower oil prices in order to gain more support before November's mid-term elections.

On 20 September, Trump once again called for Saudi Arabia to increase production, claiming the cartel leader should raise output as the U.S. had helped the country in its struggle against Iran. J.P. Morgan says the loss could be a large as 1.5 million bpd.

OPEC and Russian Federation, however, have so far rebuffed such calls.

"Our attention is shifting to 2019".

"OPEC is struggling to battle through a flawless storm of strong demand and bigger-than-expected supply losses", said Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari, Commodity Strategists at ANZ Bank last week. "So far, we have made a decision to stick to our June agreements", Novak said.

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.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends the OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Algiers, Algeria September 23, 2018.

OPEC agreed to produce more earlier this year at Trump's request.

That equates to an increase of about 1 million bpd, but the latest data shows they are some way from achieving that target.

Washington chose to reimpose sanctions and has told other countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face USA financial measures.

Iran told OPEC its production had been steady in August at 3.8 million barrels per day.

Falih said returning to 100 percent compliance was the main objective and should be achieved in the next two to three months.

Saudi Arabia signaled the kingdom is in no rush to bring oil prices down from current levels. The biggest source of new global supply, US shale, is also experiencing growing pains as pipeline bottlenecks and workforce issues may hamper growth, he said.

The OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee next meets on November 11 in Abu Dhabi, followed by a full OPEC gathering at its Vienna headquarters on December 6-7.