Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Iran: Hey Trump, 'Please Stop' With Your 'Indecent Tweets' Upping Oil Prices

Iran: Hey Trump, 'Please Stop' With Your 'Indecent Tweets' Upping Oil Prices

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", Trump tweeted on the Fourth of July.

NAN reports that on Twitter, Trump called on OPEC countries, fresh from a meeting in which they made a decision to raise oil output by an indeterminate amount, to do more to bring down crude prices. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he added.

The Republican president has lashed out at OPEC in recent weeks. Together they regulate the supply of oil that reaches the market from them to manipulate its price. Irritated by what he feels is a lack of cooperation from the Saudis who head OPEC, added: "If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s".

Kazempour said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, crude closed near 78 dollars per barrel, driven higher by a sharp drop in US inventories and the expectation of more drivers hitting the road for the July 4 holiday.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a U.S. announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, which will also target its oil industry. However, at its June meeting, OPEC agreed to slightly increase oil production.

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The move coincides with United States plans to reimpose economic sanctions on OPEC member Iran, including halting oil exports. It's a game that started back in the 1970s when the Kingdom succeeded America as the world's largest oil producer.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now around $74 a barrel. Brent crude was trading at $77.42, up $0.12 (0.16%) on the day.

Outside North America, looming USA sanctions against major oil exporter Iran were the focus of attention.

To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July.

The early reaction to Trump's tweet was normal.

"Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least US$10 per barrel", Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said in a message to Trump, carried by Iranian Oil Ministry's Shana news service.

Ship brokerage Banchero Costa said Iran's crude oil production was now around 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), but added "there is the risk of production decreasing going forward as exports are again affected by renewed sanctions implemented by the United States".

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