Trump angry at OPEC, wants lower oil prices

Andrew Cummings
July 7, 2018

With threats by U.S. President Donald trump to punish any nation that purchases Iranian oil after November 1, 2018, Tehran is eager to make what revenue it can from the 2 million b/d it now exports while prices hold at their three and half year high.

Brent for September settlement lost 20 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$78.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after gaining 48 cents yesterday.

Trump's OPEC tweets come as gasoline prices are more than 60 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

Mr Trump on Wednesday accused the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of driving up fuel prices. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the US defends many of their members for very little $'s.

"This must be a two way street", his latest statement read.

Saudi Arabia also said it would reduce the official selling price of its August barrels.

Trump's scramble to slow down the oil rally comes four months ahead of USA midterms, where analysts say rising gasoline prices could hurt Republicans. One, led by Iran, which wants higher prices and deeper cuts, and the two largest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, who support a more diplomatic position. "Since when did you start ordering OPEC", he said, according to Shana.

Earlier, Kazempour Ardebili had said that Trump's pressure on global firms not to buy Iranian oil would drive prices higher and end up hurting the American economy.

Mounting global isolation in Venezuela, one of the founding members of OPEC, as well as US sanctions pressure has pushed its oil production to historic lows.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said Saudi Arabia's King Salman had agreed to his request to increase oil output "maybe up to" two million barrels.

Analysis from Swiss investment bank UBS said spare capacity, the amount of extra oil a producer could put on the market in short order, was approachinga 10-year low.

Oil slipped below $77 a barrel on Friday, under pressure as higher Saudi production and trade tensions between the United States and China offset support from oil supply disruptions. However, Brent slipped yet again after Saudi Arabia announced that it raised output almost by 5,00,000 barrels per day in June to curb scarcity.

Those other factors have not only driven up oil prices this year, they've also increased gasoline prices. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 2 million barrels last week, according to a separate forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

Iran's deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that any attempt to thwart its oil exports will result in the closure of Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where the world's biggest concentration of tankers carry about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids during the year.

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