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They are now 20 million barrels below that average, the source said, thanks to OPEC's overcompliance with the production cuts.

There is therefore no doubt that Zimbabwe with a new administration working so hard to improve the country's economic fortunes, is being negatively impacted by this 50 percent price hike of oil in the past six months.

Crude earlier this month rose to the highest level in more than three years after U.S. President Donald Trump made a decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran and as Venezuelan output continues to fall amid an economic and political crisis.

That said higher prices at the pump hurt the consumer and the government needs to weigh the interests of the oil companies (and the benefits of their investment) against rising consumer dissatisfaction.

"The pace of the recent rise in oil prices has sparked a debate among investors on whether this poses downside risks to global growth", Chetan Ahya, chief economist at US bank Morgan Stanley, wrote in a weekend note.

USA energy companies added 15 rigs looking for new oil in the week ending May 25, bringing the rig-count to 859, the highest level since 2015, in a strong indicator that American crude production will continue to rise.




It's a view endorsed by Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, who pointed out that regardless of the quid pro quo, "the Saudis have higher revenue needs, so I think its going to be a fine line".

For many, this will be enough to pull out of the sector if there is a threat of lower oil prices on the horizon.

Any escalation in political uncertainty in Libya could attenuate the already high over-compliance levels by OPEC members and put pressure on oil prices.

The problem with set-piece meetings like the OPEC gathering on June 22 in Vienna is that they focus tremendously on what is said, rather than what is actually done. But he said an agreement of a gradual easing was the likely outcome. The catalyst behind the selling pressure are reports that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation may increase production as early as June. Probably not, although India is among Saudi Arabia's largest clients, and its demand for oil is growing at the fastest pace in the world. The countries are said to have concluded that the market re-balanced in April. OPEC and his nation don't plan to stick to existing output cuts, he said.

On top of these discussions, USA production continues to rise and US producers are drilling more new wells.

The timing of the new regulation will coincide with the effect on supply from the underinvestment during the oil price crash and the strength in demand, suggesting that the "era of "lower for longer" oil prices is dead", Energy Aspects' Sen and Yasser Elguindi wrote in a commentary in the Financial Times this week. The global sulfur limit on fuel oil will be set at 0.50 percent m/m (mass/mass) in 2020, a significant cut from the 3.5 percent m/m global limit now in place.


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