$100 Oil-Price Spike Would Trigger Recession in Crude Reality

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MID-DAY: Oil continues to slump on reports of higher production; North Korea US tensions weight Wall Street

Still, the dual threat of supply disruptions from Iran and Venezuela - which together account for about 14% of OPEC's production - may arrest any steep price slide.

Brent crude futures were down $1.51 at $77.28 a barrel, having hit their highest since late 2014 at $80.50 this month.

Oil prices recovered some ground Wednesday after a surprise jump in US crude inventories, which added another headwind to oil markets following suggestions that OPEC might increase production.

Such a decision is possible because of fears about a possible decrease in the supply of raw materials from Iran and Venezuela, which contributed to the growth of oil prices to the highest levels since 2014.

Markets have been jittery this week as the United States president had warned in recent days that he could cancel the summit, while also voicing his displeasure at a deal to avert a trade war with China and threatening tariffs on vehicle imports. USA crude futures were trading at around r$69 per barrel, while Brent crude was worth about $77 per barrel.

Nonetheless, he reiterated the built-in mechanism that the government can resort to if global oil prices reach $80 per barrel.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate was down 25 cents, or 0.35 per cent at United States dollars 71.59 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent shed 37 cents, or 0.46 per cent at USD 79.43 a barrel.

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U.S. crude oil production has risen by more than a quarter in the past two years, to 10.73 million bpd.

OPEC may decide to raise oil output as soon as June as Venezuelan output collapses, USA sanctions against Iran loom, and after Washington raised concerns that the oil rally was going too far, OPEC and oil industry sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

He also reiterated that obligations under the 1.8 million b/d OPEC/non-OPEC output cut agreement may be lowered if the participants come to the conclusion at the June meeting the market has rebalanced.

Tuesday evening the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that crude inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels in the week ending May 18. Oil producers are debating an increase ranging from 300,000 barrels a day at the low end, backed by Gulf producers including Saudi Arabia, and a larger increase of about 800,000 barrels a day favored by Russian Federation, one person said.

The benchmarks are diverging as rising inventories in the US weigh on American futures while risks to supply from Iran to Venezuela buoy Brent.

Oil prices had a "swift reaction today to the musings by OPEC to potentially add more supply to the market".

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