Saturday, 21 July, 2018


Previous Iran blames Washingtong for the spike in oil prices

US oil touches $75 amid fears Iran will block Middle East shipments Jean Paul Pelissier Reuters
Conrad Doyle | 07 July, 2018, 10:49

Paradoxically, U.S. President Donald Trump, with one eye on the U.S. driving season ahead of the U.S. 4 of July holiday, has been grumbling about high oil prices and on Jun.30 tweeted that he had directly asked Saudis to open the taps to make up for the shortfall.

Saudi Arabia's state-run oil giant cut its prices on Thursday for first time since February after President Donald Trump lashed out at OPEC for rising U.S. gas prices.

In addition to reducing the price of its August barrels, Saudi Arabia also told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that it increased production by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month.

But not all analysts foresee crude prices remaining at current levels: NAB said its oil price forecasts "point to Brent spending the next few months largely in the mid-to-high $70s [per barrel] range, although meaningful OPEC-Russia output increases could push prices lower later in the year and higher US shale production should impose an upside limit on West Texas Intermediate".

Iran OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said President Donald Trump's tweets have driven up oil prices. "Please stop this method".

Crude oil prices in recent days have hit their highest levels since late 2014. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 2 million barrels last week, according to a separate forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $72.79.

The clash over OPEC policy and the resumption of United States sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices. Their impact will also have negative repercussions for Europe and other traditional allies, many of whom are already frustrated by the announcement of new tariffs on their imports to the U.S.

In a tweet on Saturday, Mr Trump said Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to two million barrels.

In the same time, European Union pledged to buy 1m bpd from Iran defying Trump and its parliament allowed to the European Union investment bank to work in Iran a day before the market waiting of imposing new US Tariffs can trigger series of retaliates to weigh down on the global recovery.

OPEC agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies last month to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost but giving no specific numbers.

The president's call to "reduce pricing" was an apparent reference for oil producers to churn out more supply in order to contain spiking oil prices.

Antoine Halff, formerly a chief oil market analyst at the International Energy Agency and now senior fellow at Columbia University, said that Trump made three errors in his tweet: OPEC can influence market prices but is not a monopoly.

Oil prices dropped on the news, in part because the figures were the inverse of the drop in inventories shown by industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.

Global benchmark Brent slipped 28 United States cents to settle at US$77.11 a barrel.

Yesterday, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards in Tehran warned that any attempt to undermine Iran's oil exports will lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz-a narrow waterway vital to oil distribution in the Persian Gulf region.

As the Trump administration prepares to re-impose sanctions on companies that purchase Iranian crude oil, Iran is responding by threatening to pull back the amount of oil it exports to neighboring countries, which could significantly disrupt the world supply.

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