OPEC agrees ouput rise of ‘about’ 1 mln barrels -Saudi

High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan

OPEC Works Toward Deal as Saudis Propose Plan for Higher Output - Article

"Zanganeh can go back to his country and say "I won", because we are keeping the original agreement unchanged". He was reading a speech from Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who was unable to attend the event. He echoed earlier comments from OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo.

However, Iran's OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told reporters his country would only accept a return to 100% compliance for each country on an individual basis.

That means if a 1 million bpd output rise were agreed, OPEC would be allowed to increase output by around 650,000 bpd, of which Saudi Arabia could contribute over 200,000 bpd.

Falih also said the real increase would be smaller than the nominal gain of 1 million bpd, meaning there was still the possibility for compromise with Iran.

Asked whether he supports increasing production, he replied: "Some of the countries are against any increase, and ask them".

OPEC members Iran, Iraq and Venezuela have opposed a relaxation of production cuts, fearing a slump in prices.

OPEC's third-largest producer, Iran, has so far been the main barrier to a deal as it had said on Tuesday OPEC was unlikely to reach an agreement and should reject pressure from US President Donald Trump to pump more oil.

The output curbs have been in place since January 2017 but Saudi Arabia, backed by non-member Russian Federation, is now pushing to raise production again in order to meet growing demand in the second half of 2018. The rig count is a leading indicator of production. Venezuela's oil industry is collapsing due to years of mismanagement and an economic crisis.

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OPEC and its allies have since a year ago been participating in a pact to cut output by 1.8 million bpd.

Brent crude, which forms a substantial portion of India's crude oil basket, fell to as low as $72.94 per barrel on the spot markets from an opening to level of $74.46.

Oil prices steadied on Wednesday, supported by a drop in USA commercial crude inventories and the loss of storage capacity in Libya, but under pressure ahead of a meeting of OPEC exporters which may increase global production.

Trump's involvement makes it hard for Tehran to accept a compromise.

OPEC's secretariat is looking at new quotas under various scenarios, OPEC sources said.

Iran will not accept Saudi Arabia's proposal to increase crude output of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iran's representative to the OPEC was quoted as saying on Tuesday. "As individual countries, it is challenging", said United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui. "This puts Saudi Arabia in a tough position, as unanimity is needed for any accord to be reached", it added. Riyadh could also act unilaterally boosting output, as it did in 2011 after a meeting ended in acrimony without a deal.

Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of ADNOC, gestures as he speaks during the opening day of the 7th OPEC worldwide seminar in Vienna, Austria.

-With assistance from Salma El Wardany, Annmarie Hordern, Manus Cranny, Elena Mazneva, Laura Hurst, Javier Blas, Grant Smith, Francois de Beaupuy and Golnar Motevalli.

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