Donald Trump: OPEC is "doing little to help" with gas prices

Oil prices climb on tightening US market

Iran's representative to OPEC says U.S. President Donald Trump should stop tweeting about wanting lower oil prices, saying that doing so has the opposite effect.

At 0715 GMT, August WTI crude oil futures are trading $74.00, down $0.33 or -0.46% and September Brent crude oil is at $77.80, down $0.43 or -0.55%. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was up 1.51 percent to $75.06 per barrel, its highest level since November 2014.

On Wednesday he tweeted that OPEC is "doing little to help, " adding that, "if anything, they are driving prices higher".

Indeed, the timing of his concerted effort to compel an OPEC production hike clearly indicates that he understands the State Department's demands that allies cut imports of Iranian crude to zero by November has the potential to push prices materially higher. His latest was a reminder that the United States defends many OPEC members for "very little" money.

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

An oil pump jack is seen at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., May 3, 2017.

USA light crude CLc1 settled up 20 cents at $74.14 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of $72.73 a barrel.

Trump said the agreement was reached after a phone call with the Saudi King about oil production but mentioned no specifics. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 2 million barrels last week, according to a separate forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil prices have gained over three per cent since Opec and allies announced on June 22 to raise output to meet production caps set in 2016.

He's not totally oblivious to the fact that pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal served to embed still more geopolitical risk premium in crude prices. Morgan Stanley raised its Brent crude forecast to US$85 a barrel through to the third quarter of 2019, citing a tighter market than previously anticipated.

In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of a multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

But Tehran has threatened to take drastic action on the oil supply in retaliation against Trump's attempt to curb its exports.

Earlier this week, Kazempour was quoted by the same outlet commenting on the US push to remove Iranian oil from the market.

Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile U.S. action.

In post-settlement trade, prices extended gains after the American Petroleum Institute said crude stockpiles had fallen more than expected last week.



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