* Iran's Sept crude, condensate sales likely hit 2.8 mln bpd
* Iran oil sales almost at pre-sanction levels
* Analysts cautiously optimistic about OPEC production cut
* Risk of of failure amid weak fundamentals still looms
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Oct 4 Oil prices dipped early on
Tuesday, weighed down by a rise in Iranian exports that adds to
a global supply overhang, although a planned OPEC-led supply cut
later this year has lent crude some support.
International Brent crude oil futures were trading
at $50.79 per barrel at 0015 GMT, down 10 cents from their
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 15
cents at $48.66 a barrel.
Traders said prices were dented by the latest rise in
Iranian crude and condensate sales, which likely reached about
2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, almost matching
a 2011 peak in shipments before sanctions were imposed on the
However, analysts said Iran will struggle to boost output
further and reaching pre-sanctions levels makes it more likely
Tehran will agree on some form of production constraint with
other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC), including its regional rival Saudi Arabia,
which is also pumping oil near record levels.
There was optimism that OPEC producers, and perhaps also
exporters outside the club like Russia, would find some form of
agreement by the time the producer club meets in November,
although the risks of failure remain.
"For now, optimism has returned and the market will
anxiously await any confirmation of the agreement or additional
non-OPEC participation," Morgan Stanley said in a note to
It added that "the risk of disappointment is high, and
fundamentals remain challenging/unchanged in the interim."
The U.S. bank said important price factors to watch for in
coming weeks include talks on output with non-OPEC members, most
notably with Russia, production within OPEC as its members try
to squeeze out oil before any potential cut or freeze, hedging
activity by producers into 2017 as forward price guidance, and
U.S. inventory and import data.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)