Oil futures: Prices higher as OPEC seen nearing maximum output capacity

28 Jun 2022

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - Crude oil futures Tuesday were higher on the day amid growing concerns over oil supplies after French President Emmanuel Macron flagged OPEC's diminishing spare capacity with his counterpart, US President Joe Biden, at the G7 meeting in Germany.

Front-month August ICE Brent futures were trading at $117.81/b (1945 GMT), compared to Monday's settle of $115.09/b, while the more liquid Sep22 contract was trading at $113.63/b. 

At the same time, August NYMEX WTI was trading $111.62/b, versus Monday's settle of $109.57/b.

Macron let slip that the president of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ), told him that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could barely increase oil production.

"I had a call with MBZ," Macron was heard telling Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit, adding Saudi Arabia can only add about 150,000 bpd.

"He told me two things. I'm at a maximum, maximum (production capacity). This is what he claims," said Macron, in comments caught on film.

"Second, he told me the Saudis can increase a little bit, about 150,000 barrels a day or a little more."

OPEC will hold its own talks on June 29, one day before the wider OPEC+ meeting.

OPEC+ announced higher increases for July and August at its last meeting and is set to discuss policy beyond August at the June 30 meeting.

Macron also called for more oil from Iran and Venezuela to help stabilise oil prices, as G7 leaders are continuing discussions on a potential price cap on Russian oil.

Ongoing production problems in Libya and Ecuador also underpinned prices as political chaos shut down parts of the country.

Heatwaves across Japan and central and northern China are lifting power demand for air conditioning in northeast Asia, boosting demand for generation fuels.

There was little market reaction to the rest of the G7 meeting, with pledges to cap the price of Russian oil gas light on details.