Trump Renews Twitter Assault on OPEC

Marco Green
June 14, 2018

The meeting is expected to be one of the most contentious summits in recent years, as Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq are against boosting production and are criticizing Saudi Arabia for not having briefed them prior to commenting that production may be raised.

Earlier in the session, Brent and USA crude had retreated on concerns about rising production in the United States and expectations that OPEC and other producers could relax voluntary output cuts. Oil output for Venezuela has been crimped by the nation's economic crisis while USA sanctions on Iran could further reduce that country's output. While OPEC countries are still the dominant suppliers to Asia, nearly all big importers in the region have increasingly turned to US crude after a four-decade ban on American exports was lifted in late 2015. On April 20, Donald Trump took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel's push for higher prices.

While there are risks that could influence this estimate, including possibly higher prices, trade disruptions and a potential further strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the IEA said some governments are already considering measures to ease price pressures on consumers.

Oil prices eased on Thursday, dragged down by rising output, although strong demand and a drop in USA fuel inventories provided the market with some support.

India and China are discussing ways to boost imports of US crude to Asia, a move aimed at reducing their dependence on cargoes from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to an Indian government official.

US companies have filled some of the gap created by Venezuela, OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation.

The Kingdom's production was up 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.02 million barrels. Saudi Arabia has already started pumping more crude. "Not good!" the president said.

Barely recovered from the roller coaster ride of recent weeks, traders are holding their breath for the June 22 meeting of oil ministers from OPEC member states in Vienna.

OPEC is under scrutiny in Congress, too. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said shielding a cartel like OPEC "makes a mockery of US antitrust law, threatens the American economy and has the potential to harm our national security".

"It's confusing why the president would come out with a statement like this now", Smith said. "Adjusted for inflation, these prices are not out of line with where we've seen oil prices for the last decade or two".

Even if the supply gap, triggered by the return of U.S. sanctions on Iran and a major political crisis in Venezuela, is plugged, the oil market will likely remain vulnerable to disruption next year, the IEA warned. He previously covered the Trump White House. Schumer spoke as he stood in front of the price sign - regular for $3.09 - at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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