Trump's policies have caused high oil prices

High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan

De-facto OPEC leader and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia as well as Russian Federation which is not a member of the cartel but the world's biggest oil producer, are pushing for looser supply controls. A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that Opec should maintain its existing deal to cut oil supply until the end of 2018, maintaining Iran's opposition to increasing supplies.

But unexpected production outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola have effectively brought supply cuts to around 2.8 million bpd in recent months. "An increase because of external pressure on OPEC is not acceptable", said a source familiar with Iranian thinking.

Bijan Zanganeh is in the Austrian capital Vienna ahead of a meeting with his counterparts on Friday.

"It would seem that an aggregate increase in production for OPEC+ of between 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) and 1 million bpd is the range that is being considered", Tchilinguirian said.

Crude oil is catching some lift in Wednesday trading with WTI creeping into the $65/barrel handle as U.S. inventories deliver a slight drawdown.

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Ecuador said OPEC and its allies could agree to a compromise increase in output of around 0.5-0.6 million bpd.

A decision to increase output could be taken even with Iran refusing to sign up, as has happened before in OPEC.

Crude oil prices have risen 60% in a year to about $75 a barrel due to a combination of factors including healthy demand, supply cut by key producing countries, including members of OPEC and Russian Federation, a sharp drop in Venezuela's output and USA decision to sanction Iran.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih was confident that there would be an agreement at OPEC on Friday, saying today that "Of course we will have an agreement".

Sources said Saudi Arabia did not want to be seen as putting too much pressure on Iran and hence Russian Federation was instead trying to convince Tehran.

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Zanganeh was due to attend a ministerial committee on Thursday.

Iraq and Venezuela have also opposed a relaxation of production cuts, fearing a slump in prices.

An authoritative OPEC source disclosed in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, that while Saudi Arabia has openly canvassed for a huge increase in supply, Iran said it would compromise on a small increase in OPEC oil output. Iran is usually not part of the committee, which includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria and Venezuela.

Harry Tchilinguirian, head of oil strategy at French bank BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum he expected OPEC and Russian Federation to agree a compromise that would see a small increase in global oil production.

In another escalation, India on Thursday joined China and the European Union by increasing duties on various commodities imported from the United States.

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