Oil prices dip on expectation that OPEC will raise output
Oil prices eased on Friday on hopes OPEC would soon raise output to make up for a decline in exports
It comes as Iranian oil exports were on the decline following a new tightening of sanctions by the US against Tehran.
Parts of Europe were also cut off from supply, as Brent crude rose above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on Thursday.
The cut was caused by Germany, Poland and Slovakia suspending imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality.
US pressures Saudi Arabia
To make up for the shortfall from Iran, the US is putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to end its voluntary supply restraint. The US expects that Saudi Arabia will raise output to fill supply gap.
Despite US efforts to end all Iranian oil exports, some analysts expect some oil to still exit out of the country, smuggled out of Iran to China. China is the world’s largest buyer of Iranian oil.
Suspicions come after China formally complained to the US over its unilateral Iran sanctions this week.
OPEC supply cuts
Oil had already taken a hit before the Russian disruption, after supply cuts were led by OPEC as well as US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.
The US said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries stop oil imports from Tehran from May or face penalties.
Brent Crude futures were at $74.09 per barrel on Friday at time of writing, down 26 cents, or 0.4 % from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.82 per barrel, down 39 cents, or 0.6%, from their previous settlement.
Crude futures are up around 40% so far this year.
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