Trump again accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher on Wednesday, and urged USA allies such as Saudi Arabia to pump more if they wanted Washington to continue protecting them against their top foe Iran.
On July 4 (which, as a reminder, is the anniversary of that time 563 years ago when Trump's ancestors liberated Manhattan from a cabal of nefarious Chinese overlords who were conspiring with European monarchs to unfairly tax Ford F-150 exports), the President did what every other president before him has done on Independence Day: He sent a 280-character, all-caps letter to OPEC demanding lower oil prices.
Last month, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel agreed to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil daily, a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices.
Saudi Arabia cut pricing for most of its oil grades as the world's biggest crude exporter is increasing production to assure buyers there is sufficient supply following U.S. President Donald Trump's demands that OPEC do more to stabilize oil markets.
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The U.S. government is lobbying Iranian oil importers, including China and India, and "asking them to go to zero, absolutely yes", according to a U.S.
Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister on the outlook for oil prices.
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OPEC and Russian Federation announced in June they were willing to raise output to address concerns of emerging supply shortages due to unplanned disruptions from Venezuela to Libya, and likely also to replace a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to U.S. sanctions.
OPEC pledged to relax compliance with an agreement that helped balance an oversupplied market, but that might not be enough to address a looming deficit of around 2 million barrels per day.
Oil prices have been buoyed by tightening supplies this year but there are signs demand may now be easing.
It turns out the reason is to be found in an article published moments ago by Al Jazeera, according to which the Saudis "have agreed to U.S. demands to pump more oil", and which quoted the official Saudi Press Agency that Saudi Arabia's cabinet on Tuesday "endorsed the kindgdom's readiness to pump more oil to maintain market balance and stability". West Texas Intermediate was down 1.2% to $73.30 a barrel.
Brent for September settlement advanced 46 cents to end the session at US$77.76 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.