Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

'OPEC is at it again': Trump renews Twitter attack on oil nations

'OPEC is at it again': Trump renews Twitter attack on oil nations

"Adjusted for inflation, these prices are not out of line with where we've seen oil prices for the last decade or two".

Crude has more than doubled since bottoming out below $30 a barrel in early 2016, causing US motorists to face the highest gasoline prices since late 2014.

Brent crude was up 53 cents at $76.41 a barrel by 10:52 a.m. EDT (1552 GMT).

The deal, which is due to run out at the end of 2018, has succeeded in boosting oil prices above $70 a barrel from below $30 a barrel in early 2016.

Crude stockpiles fell by 4.1 million, and gasoline supplies fell by 2.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.

Donald Trump and Iran exchanged sharp words over oil prices on Wednesday, with Tehran accusing the USA president of contributing to volatile prices after he withdraw from a global nuclear arms deal last month. "It seems like we need nearly every barrel of that to keep up with this refining demand".

To make up for the losses, the IEA estimated that Middle East Opec countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 million bpd.

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Saudi Arabia posted the biggest month-on-month increase in oil supply of any OPEC country in May, according to the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Prices have risen around 60 percent over the previous year.

The full organization, plus non-members like Russian Federation who agreed to take part in the earlier round of production cuts, are meeting June 22 and 23 in Vienna.

While there are risks that could influence this estimate, including possibly higher prices, trade disruptions and a potential further strengthening of the USA dollar, the IEA said some governments are already considering measures to ease price pressures on consumers.

However, OPEC's president, Suhail Al Mazrouei, said on Tuesday that the US has not asked the group to increase oil production in the wake of political unrest in oil-rich Venezuela and USA sanctions on Iran. "Unofficial sources have said Russian Federation will propose to return production back to the October 2016 (level), i.e. removing the cap altogether over a period of three months".

US President Donald Trump in May announced he would pull out of a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran that had eased sanctions on the oil giant.

The IEA said it expects global oil demand to grow 1.4 million bpd this year, and in 2019, and will top 100 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2018. Prices last month were further boosted to the highest level since 2014 after a US decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran threatened to curb exports from the Islamic Republic and as economic turmoil in Venezuela hurt the Latin American nation's output.

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