Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trump tells OPEC to lower oil prices

Trump tells OPEC to lower oil prices

The president also suggested it was unfair that OPEC raises prices when, "We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us".

OPEC and its allies are unlikely to agree to an official increase in crude output when they meet in Algeria this weekend, although pressure is mounting on top producers to prevent a spike in oil prices above $80 a barrel ahead of new USA sanctions on Iran, OPEC sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Trump seemed to threaten the withdrawal of USA military resources from the Middle East if OPEC members in the region didn't work to lower prices.

In July, the president sent a similar tweet, bemoaning prices at the pump, telling OPEC to "REDUCE PRICING NOW!".Later that month OPEC boosted production by 41,000 to 32.32 million barrels, as noted in OPEC's monthly report. We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!' Trump wrote in his latest volley on Twitter.

High petrol prices can be an issue for voters, and Trump's attacks come just a couple of months ahead of the United States midterms, where analysts say rising prices could hurt Republicans.

This has helped lead to higher prices at the pump.

At the same time, Trump will reimpose sanctions on Iran later this year as part of his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, potentially removing a significant oil supplier from the market.

The oil price dropped after the tweet.

In a visit to Moscow this month, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry asserted Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russian Federation can between them raise global output in the next 18 months to compensate for falling oil supplies from Iran.

Over the past four years, changes to USA crude oil transportation infrastructure and the fluctuations in the Brent-WTI spread have resulted in refiners in the East Coast receiving the highest crude volumes by tanker and barge from the Gulf Coast since 2014, while crude by rail shipments from the Midwest have slumped 77 percent from the late-2014 peak, the EIA said in an analysis on Thursday.

Although supply worries have pushed up oil prices, Opec and its allies were not likely to agree to an official increase in crude output at this weekend's meeting, Opec sources said.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude for November delivery was up 26 cents, or 0.33 per cent, at $78.96 a barrel by 0647 GMT. Within a month, the kingdom had performed a dramatic U-turn and by June the cartel and its allies were promising to add 1 million barrels a day to the oil market.

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