Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

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

Oil prices chart new territory on supply-side concerns Oil prices climb on tightening US market
Jan Cook | 06 July, 2018, 03:30

USA crude futures were up 32 cents at $74.46, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

"As Libyan port closures remove about three-quarters of their 1 million barrel-per-day exports, crude is pushing higher again today", he said.

Trump's claim comes after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a grouping of oil-producing states that includes Saudi Arabia, already agreed to ramp up production by a million barrels a day at a meeting earlier this month.

Oil was trading at over $78 per barrel of the Brent benchmark on Thursday, while US West Texas Intermediate was trading at $74.55. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s.

The US president has spent recent months putting pressure on the Opec cartel, which pumps about a third of the world's crude oil, to reduce prices by increasing its output and yesterday he accused its members of "doing little to help".

The United States and Saudi Arabia appear to have reached an understanding: Washington will reduce or eliminate Iran's oil export revenues and in return Riyadh will guarantee oil supplies and stabilize prices.

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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.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers will meet Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss how to keep the accord alive after the USA withdrawal from the pact. This must be a two way street. In late morning trading, the price of the global benchmark Brent grade of crude oil was little changed at $77.85 a barrel.

Yesterday, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards in Tehran warned that any attempt to undermine Iran's oil exports will lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz-a narrow waterway vital to oil distribution in the Persian Gulf region.

"OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years", Kazempour continued.

President Donald Trump used Twitter on Wednesday (July 4) to express his frustration with high U.S. The International Energy Agency estimates OPEC's spare capacity could fall in to around 2.5 mbpd (excluding Iran) - by the first half of 2019, its lowest level since the end of 2016 when record production from the Middle East reduced spare capacity to around 1.9 million bpd.

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