PHL eyeing oil from non-Opec countries

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 17 cents, or 0.24 percent, at $71.67 a barrel.

Energy stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds plunged Friday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies consider raising production in light of the elevated prices.

OPEC began discussing an ease of production restrictions following a critical tweet from Trump, according to the cartel's Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo. There have also been reports that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries along with allies such as Russian Federation, known as OPEC+, will discuss easing their output cap at a meeting in Vienna on June 22. While Saudi Arabia has avoided pinpointing an exact price target for oil, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with development that it is aiming for $80 to support the valuation of Saudi Aramco before an initial public offering.

At a time when India is looking at ways to keep rising fuel prices in check, a further increase in the per barrel price of crude oil (the deciding factor of domestic oil prices) may bring more pain for consumers in the future. Brent crude futures jumped to a new four-year high of $80 a barrel last week as new U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, which would reduce supply further, appeared imminent. The group previously agreed to curb their output by about 1.8 million barrels per day to boost oil prices and clear a supply glut.

Some of the biggest oil-producing nations should step in to ease any supply shortfall should shipments from Venezuela or Iran collapse, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said earlier this week. Brent crude recently touched $80 a barrel, though it was lower on Wednesday.

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Higher US supplies, news on increasing OPEC output weigh on oil.

The stated reason: "The anxiety of consumers is now a concern to us", translated: between the IEA's forecast of demand destruction the higher the price of oil rises, and Trump's periodic reminders to pump more as United States gas prices are getting too high, Saudi Arabia had no choice but to take the first step toward undoing the Vienna oil supply cut agreement.

Indeed, Sinopec 600028.SS , Asia's largest refiner, will boost US crude oil imports to an all-time high as China tries to reduce its trade deficit with the United States, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

For Russia, stability is more important than a short-term significant growth in price, he said in the interview.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.3 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.