OIL started the week strongly after Saudi Arabia and other Opec+ members signalled intentions to keep supplies constrained for the rest of the year, while U.S. tensions with Iran ratcheted up as President Donald Trump threatened the country in a tweet.
It was not clear precisely what Trump meant by his tweet on Sunday, however, since it ran counter to reports from late last week that he had told USA military commanders he did not want to go to war and, in fact, wanted to reduce bilateral tensions.
"Donald Trump made it very clear to the Iranians over the weekend, guys, hey, if you attack the USA one more time, that's going to be the end of the regime", he said.
"None of us wants to see the [oil] stocks swell again", he said, with reference to a supply surplus that sent prices sharply lower in the second half of past year. No claims of responsibility had been made, but the United States was taking the incident "very seriously".
Opec, and allies including Russian Federation, agreed to slash output by 1.2m barrels per day from the beginning of January, initially setting a six-month time frame.
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Sunday's ministerial panel meeting, known as the JMMC, comes amid concerns of a tight market as Iran's oil exports are likely to drop further in May, and shipments from Venezuela could fall more in coming weeks due to the sanctions by Washington.
"Looking at the oil supply side of the equation, some signals point to tightening supplies, while others highlight the healthy pace of USA oil production". "The market wants OPEC to recognize that balances will weaken later this year, and also next year".
He said nobody knew what Iran was producing or exporting, adding that he believed "a lot" of Iranian oil was unaccounted for.
Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack on state oil giant Saudi Aramco's oil pumping stations that Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militia has claimed responsibility for.
Oil closed lower amid warnings that the U.S.
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The deal aimed to cut sanctions on Iran in exchange for an end to its nuclear programme, but the USA unilaterally withdrew from the agreement previous year.
USA investigators have also accused Iran or the groups it supports of using explosives to damage four tankers off the United Arab Emirates earlier this month.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has dismissed the possibility of war erupting, saying Tehran did not want conflict and no country had the "illusion it can confront Iran".
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC has said that despite the gains from the Organisation's Declaration of Cooperation, the oil market outlook remains uncertain owing to the ongoing trade negotiations, monetary policy developments and geopolitical challenges. The meeting is set to conclude by making recommendations for a key summit of oil producers in late June, to be attended by Iran.
"Although it has not affected our supplies, such acts of terrorism are deplorable", al-Falih said. "They threaten uninterrupted supplies of energy to the world and put a global economy that is already facing headwinds at further risk".
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