Iran's OPEC Boss: Trump's Tweets Have Added $10 to Oil Prices

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"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help".

For the United States, higher oil prices means higher consumer fuel prices in the world's leading economy. However, summer months in the USA usually lead to increased demand for oil, boosting the price of gasoline in a midterm election year.

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to 2 million barrels per day, an assertion that the White House rowed back on in a subsequent statement.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up prices.

"Under these circumstances it is justified to argue for higher prices when production increases are announced", he said.

Energy consultancy FGE on Friday issued a stark warning of looming supply shortages due to US sanctions against Iran, and because of disruptions elsewhere. The reduction comes a day after Trump took aim at OPEC for rising oil prices, urging the cartel to "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

In late morning trading Thursday, the price of the global benchmark Brent grade of crude oil was little changed at $77.85 a barrel.

Oil prices have reached a new level over the last few months, with Brent briefly touching US$80/bbl in May, but the last month has seen prices moderately lower, generally in the mid-to-high 70s range, points out the analysis team at NAB.

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Trump's order for oil producing countries to raise output "is very insulting to the people of these countries and would undermine their national sovereignty and destabilize the oil market", he said.

Writing on Twitter Wednesday, the US President said OPEC is doing little to help.

U.S. light crude settled up 20 cents at US$74.14 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of US$72.73 a barrel.

An International Energy Agency scenario projects oil production falling by around 1.5 million bpd due to the loss of Iranian and Venezuelan oil.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers will meet Iranian officials in the Austrian capital to discuss how to keep the accord alive after the US withdrawal from the pact.

Meanwhile, the market continued to watch rising US crude output, with this week's oil drilling rig count data, an indicator of future production, due at 1 p.m. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Wednesday that Tehran might block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a major route for transporting crude in the Gulf.

Prices have risen as a result of Washington's plans to reimpose sanctions against Iran, OPEC's No. 3 producer, analysts said. Iran insists that production limits OPEC set in late 2016 still apply, and that any countries who increase beyond these levels are undermining the unity of the organization.

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