At Algiers summit, OPEC will keep a wary eye on Donald Trump

24 September, 2018, 19:57 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Donald Trump Tells OPEC to Lower Crude Oil Prices Even As Iran Sanctions Loom

Oil prices rose on Friday ahead of a meeting of oil cartel Opec and other large crude exporters that will focus on production increases as U.S. sanctions restrict Iranian exports.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, meet on Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset the loss of Iranian barrels.

U.S. President Donald Trump weighed into the debate via Twitter on Thursday, urging OPEC to cut prices.

The prospect of United States sanctions hitting Iran's roughly 2 million barrels per day in crude exports from November, when the rest of OPEC has limited spare capacity, has helped oil stay well above $70 a barrel since May, when Washington announced it would ditch an worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed U.S. crude oil inventories declined by 2.1 million barrels last week to 394 million barrels, which was the fifth consecutive weekly drop and marked the lowest total since February 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports. Futures prices for West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, dipped slightly following Trump's tweet before recovering and then retreating once again to trade roughly flat. "We will remember", he tweeted.

"The current market betting line suggests price levels rather than global supply levels will be the key determinant on turning on the oil taps", Innes said.




But on Tuesday Bloomberg cited unnamed Saudi sources as saying the kingdom was comfortable with oil above $80, at least for the short term, helping to push prices higher.

Prices were supported by sanctions on Iranian supplies and pressured by the potential that Chinese demand could wane. "The goal is to keep oil prices below $80/b and preferably in the mid-$70s range until after the United States election".

The U.S. sanctions were imposed by Trump in response to Iran's nuclear program, which the White House says is created to produce weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.

Still, many traders and analysts expect Brent to move above $80 soon.

Falih also met last week with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who praised the efforts of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to keep the market well-supplied.

US sanctions on Iran's oil exports come into force on November 4 and many buyers have already scaled back Iranian purchases.

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