Markets

Trump renews Twitter assault on OPEC, pushing to cut oil prices

Trump renews Twitter assault on OPEC, pushing to cut oil prices

Pumped further by global trade war fears, oil prices have since surged to multi-year highs, only to then fall back again somewhat, the IEA said.

United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of driving up oil prices, in a fresh swipe at the cartel's agreement to cap production. Oil output for Venezuela has been crimped by the nation's economic crisis while US sanctions on Iran could further reduce that country's output.

The full organization, plus non-members like Russian Federation who agreed to take part in the earlier round of production cuts, are meeting June 22 and 23 in Vienna.

"The Trump administration is trying to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign organization", Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said in an interview.

The president has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with oil prices in the past.

Saudi Arabia last month signaled it was ready to boost output in the second half of the year to ease consumer anxiety about higher prices, a policy U-turn for the kingdom that only weeks earlier advocated for production restraint.




Oil prices turned positive on Wednesday after a bigger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories along with surprise drawdowns in gasoline and distillates indicated strong demand in the world's top oil consumer.

Russia's production was 11.1 million barrels a day in June, exceeding its quota, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The U.S. move has put pressure on European and Asian clients to stop importing Iranian oil or doing business with the country.

Some countries have already increased production, and analysts have said the outlook for the oil market for the rest of 2018 is uncertain as OPEC countries prepare to meet June 22-23 in Vienna to discuss output.

Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above US$150 a barrel in less than two years. Prices nationwide have edged up toward $3 a gallon as the US hits its peak summer travel season, still less than the $4 a gallon during the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

Dutch bank ING, however, said some OPEC members would "struggle to push production back to October 2016 levels".