'Reduce Pricing Now': Trump's Complicated Relationship with OPEC Countries


U.S. President Trump continues to bash Saudi Arabia, in particular, and OPEC, in general, to raise production, which he believes will lead to lower prices. Some members should remember that the United States is defending them for little reciprocal benefits, he added. He added, "This must be a two way street".

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.

In response, Ardebili warned, "Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel". "Please stop using this method".

Oil's uptick in recent weeks has brought the commodity to levels not seen since it started a rapid descent in November 2014 that culminated in a brief trip below $30 per barrel in February 2016.

Russia's budget has received more than US$63.5 billion in additional revenues thanks to the production cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC nations that boosted oil prices.

OPEC members in coordination with Russian Federation just reached an agreement to pump an additional 1 million barrels a day onto world markets.

USA crude futures fell $1.20 to settle at $72.94 a barrel, retreating from Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high of over $75.

Trump's policy of economic sanctions on Iran has been accused by some bankers and energy experts as the primary factor in the market's current level of high and unstable prices, CNBC recently reported. 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.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) receives US President Donald Trump for the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 50 cents at US$77.80.

"If Trump continues to believe that OPEC are not doing enough, we would not rule out an SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) release from the USA, or possibly even export restrictions on petroleum products", ING said in a note. Now that prices have rebounded from a low of $30 a barrel in January 2016 to about $75, OPEC and other exporters led by Russian Federation have agreed to slowly increase exports by what will effectively be 700,000 barrels a day now, with another half million barrels later in the year as sanctions on Iran take effect.

Oil surged in the past two weeks as the US pushes allies to end imports of Iranian crude, disruptions persist in places like Libya and American crude inventories shrink. This context has produced high oil prices compared with what they were at the beginning of the year. While OPEC is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's sanctions on group members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainties, just as United States tariffs on Chinese goods kick in on Friday.

USA crude inventories fell by 4.5 million barrels in the week to June 29 to 416.9 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday.

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

In fact, increasing prices of oil crisis was originally triggered by the U.S. after pulling out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers, in addition to pressure piled by USA on its allies to stop purchases of oil from Iran.