Oil ETFs Get Boost as Iranian Imports Slashed

Kirill Dmitriev Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Monday

Supply disruption in Canada, uncertainty over oil exports from Libya further supported oil prices which accelerated after much stronger than expected draw in U.S. crude stocks on Tuesday (API report showed draw of 9.22 million barrels vs 2.5 million barrels draw forecasted).

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $70.88, up 35 cents, or 0.5 percent.

State oil company Saudi Aramco is aiming to boost production next month to about 10.8 million barrels a day, the report here said.

He added that since global oil demand growth is anticipated to slow over the next year, Brent crude is forecast to be around $65 per barrel at the end of this year.

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Trying to make up for disrupted supply, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said last week it would increase output. US crude rose 2.5% to $72.26, after jumping Tuesday. The U.S. official specifically cited India and China as countries that would have to stop accepting Iranian imports, though officials have not yet spoken with those countries.

In addition, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has reported a sharp drop of 9.228 million barrels in U.S. crude inventories in the week that ended on June 22 - much more than the 2.572 million barrels fall predicted and the previous week's 3.016 million barrel decline.

"Despite the OPEC agreement (last week) we believe that tight supply is likely to drive oil prices higher during 2018, " Jason Gammel of U.S. Investment Bank Jefferies said in a note.

"What the Saudis, other GCC members and Russian Federation are clearly saying is that we don't want to overtake the market".

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Pugh said if Venezuela manages to increase its production by 300,000 bpd for the rest of the year, as it pledged on Friday, then the cartel may quickly exceed its quota.

"All the potential shortfalls could outstrip the production increase agreed to by OPEC and Russian Federation", said Dominick Chirichella, Director of Risk Management at EMI DTN, noting the risk that supplies from Iran could be cut further if other countries follow the us lead and cut imports from that country, the fifth-largest oil producer in the world. OPEC has a lot of power in influencing the oil prices which is why their decisions are so important to general consumers.

Even if Opec and Russian Federation compensate for that additional 1.5 million barrel-a-day loss, the market will still be "finely balanced" in 2019, the IEA said.

A supply outage at Syncrude in Canada has locked in 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, with repairs expected to last at least through July.

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Iran pumped 3.8 million bpd in May, Reuters' monthly survey showed.

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