Last week we shared how Saudi Arabia and Russia were looking into maintaining and even expanding cooperation among the oil producers, which was built in an effort to control oil prices, after it runs its course at the end of 2018. The producers were expected to revise the decision, which capped oil production at 1.2 billion barrels per day, with necessary amendments via market monitoring throughout the year. The first amendment came in the form of an update to OPEC’s monthly oil market report. OPEC has decided to increase its daily crude oil production forecasts, in the light of US shale oil’s rapid increase. Expecting the daily petroleum demand to reach 98.6 million units this year, the organization is confident that this increase in global demand will deplete the global inventories despite US’ daily supply of 10 million barrels. In a statement on Tuesday, UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazroui, who also holds the OPEC presidency this year, stressed that there is still an excess of 74 million barrels in the world and announced that OPEC and its biggest ally, Russia, are already looking into continuing their cooperation after 2018. Al-Mazroui also reminded that the group’s ongoing collaboration prevents massive shocks in the market by sustaining the supply-demand balance. – Wall Street Journal & Reuters & Reuters

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