By Sara Israfilbayova
Oil resumed its decline due to disagreements among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the issue of the gradual recovery of production volumes.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $76.46 per barrel, down 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their last close, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.58 a barrel, down 6 cents from their last settlement, according to Reuters.
Thus, the international rating agency Fitch has raised the forecast of the average price of oil for 2018 and 2019 - up to $70 and $65 per barrel, respectively. Earlier the agency expected the cost of a barrel of oil at the level of $57.5 per barrel.
The revision reflects high current prices, a reduction in production in Venezuela, continuing geopolitical tensions, including the resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, and a strong increase in demand.
And U.S. President Donald Trump criticized OPEC for the fact that this organization, in his opinion, supports world oil prices at a “too high” level.
“Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!” he wrote on his Twitter page.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached an agreement in December 2016 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices. OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.
Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.
OPEC and its partners decided to extend its production cuts till the end of 2018 in Vienna on November 30, as the oil cartel and its allies step up their attempt to end a three-year supply glut that has savaged crude prices and the global energy industry.
Sara Israfilbayova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Sara_999Is
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