Trump requested Saudi oil support before Iran nuclear decision

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Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $77.24 per barrel at 0317 GMT, a notch below their last close.

Long-term investment in the oil sector has been "choked off' in favor of short-cycle investment, and supplies from US shale producers will likely be constrained through late 2019".

At 1120 GMT, the August ICE Brent crude futures was 46 cents higher from Wednesday's settle at $75.82/b, while the NYMEX July light sweet crude contract was up 38 cents to $65.08/b. Crude, the global benchmark, was mostly unchanged.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other participants in the output agreement meet in Vienna on June 22-23 to decide policy. USA proved reserves totaled about 33 billion barrels, according to the OPEC bulletin.

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Oil prices fell on Friday, reversing early gains as signs of weakening demand in China and surging USA output weighed on markets despite support from supply woes in Venezuela and OPEC's production cuts. Trump has complained, meanwhile, that OPEC was inflating the price of oil through artificial means.

Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday on expectations that inventories in the United States may decline, but increasing USA production and concerns that OPEC may raise output continue to weigh on sentiment.

This weeks EIA number showed an unexpected build in crude oil inventories due to a larger than expected increase in imports.

"(The output decision) is going to be the main event of the month and the main input for the second half of the year, so any change in OPEC policy is a big event", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said, Reuters reported.

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Further weighing on prices has been rising United States output, which hit another record last week at 10.8 million bpd.

Washington was anxious that the sanctions would curb deliveries from Iran and push oil prices up, the sources said. The producers have been considering a supply increase of up to 1 million barrels per day, sources told Reuters.

"As in previous years, the bulk of crude oil from OPEC countries was exported to the Asia and Pacific region, in the amount of 15.56 mb/d or 62.6 percent". While oil is still in technical price trouble in the short-term the correction should soon be over.

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