Iranian Oil Minister Describes Trump’s Order To OPEC as "Insulting"

Trump’s order for OPEC to reduce prices is insulting – Iranian oil minister

Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher, and urged Saudi Arabia to pump more if it wanted Washington to continue protecting it against its top rival Iran.

Washington's withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal was widely criticized across the world.

When President Trump Tweeted last week that Saudi Arabia agreed to begin pumping additional oil to make up for the removal of Iran from the global markets, the Saudis very quickly corrected him, saying that while they could increase capacity if needed, no promise to do so had been made. The kingdom assured Trump that Saudi Arabia can raise oil production if needed and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran.

OPEC and Russian Federation and other producers last month agreed to add 1 million barrels to the market.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's ambassador to the OPEC, said the strong rhetoric by Trump against OPEC and oil producers could soon push up crude prices to as high as 100 USA dollars per barrel.

Money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude in the week to July 3, the U.S. Commodity Trading Commission said on Monday.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing United States sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases.

"There will remain no such organization (as OPEC) in the future after continuation of the sanctions" against Iran, he was quoted as saying.

Zanganeh said Iranian oil production and exports had not changed as a result of US pressures.

He added that OPEC principles would never allow political pressures to change the directions of the market.

South Korea halted all Iranian oil shipments in July for the first time in six years amid USA pressure. Teheran is the third largest supplier of crude oil to India.It is also considered a gateway to Afghanistan as India gets access to the war-torn country through the Chabahar port.

USA energy companies this week added oil rigs for the first time in three weeks but the rate of growth has slowed over the past month or so with a decline in crude prices from late May through late June.

South Korean buyers of Iranian crude and condensate are SK Energy and SK Incheon Petrochemical, owned by SK Innovation, Hyundai Oilbank Corp and Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co.

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