India floats plan to form oil buyers club

Trump renews attack on OPEC ahead of group's production meeting

For the last month, the oil price has successively marked lower intraday highs and lows, indicating that traders and investors are not quite as confident in the outlook for the supply/demand balance, especially given the steep rise in US crude production and the splintering within OPEC.

Since early 2017, OPEC and Russian Federation have been leading a coalition of oil producers - known as OPEC-plus - in supply curbs aimed at clearing a global glut.

In April, Trump also blasted OPEC on Twitter, accusing the group of "artificially" raising oil prices.

The oil industry will face the biggest squeeze on its spare production capacity in more than three decades if OPEC and its allies agree next week to hike crude output, leaving the world more at risk of a price spike from any supply disruption. United States crude traded Wednesday near $67 a barrel.

India today voiced its concern over high global oil prices with oil producers cartel OPEC and nudged it to move to responsible pricing that balances interests of both producers and consumers.

Trump sparked the latest back-and-forth on Wednesday when he renewed his attack on OPEC, saying in a tweet that oil prices are too high and blaming the cartel.

After maintaining a steady decline in 2015-16, oil prices have begun to rise since the middle of the previous year and the increase has picked up pace in the last couple of months.

Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above $150 a barrel in less than two years.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader which has indicated its support for hiking output at next week's meeting in Vienna, has said it is alert to the potential squeeze on the market.

Moscow believes the new arrangement it proposes would provide stability for the oil market through a period of high demand during the northern hemisphere summer, the person said.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was down 35 cents at $75.53 a barrel by 0730 GMT.

OPEC will probably overcome internal disputes to agree on a production increase next week, a Bloomberg survey shows.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.99 a barrel, down 37 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.

But the Paris-based IEA, echoing statements from oil producers as well as analyst comment in recent weeks, said there may be a change to the so-called Vienna agreement.

Sources close to the matter said a number of options are being looked at, including an increase of around 1 million barrels per day and, should prices fall, making no decision.

On Tuesday, the US government's Energy Information Administration raised estimates for global oil demand in 2018. USA consumption of gasoline in the United States rose to an historic high of 9.88 million bpd last week, according to the EIA.

Trump's grousing follows reports suggesting the oil exporters group was already planning to open the spigots, an outcome the International Energy Agency hinted at in its monthly report released earlier Wednesday.

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