Trump renews his criticism of OPEC for 'too high' oil prices

17 June, 2018, 13:37 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices

In its first detailed forecast for 2019, the IEA said Venezuelan and Iranian oil production will fall by a combined 1.5 million barrels per day by the end of next year; however, extra oil output from OPEC and non-OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could compensate for the lost supply.

While economic growth is projected to be strong in the US, Europe and Japan, there is a chance of a slowdown in China and India, OPEC said.

Despite their proposal, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed OPEC for inflating prices. The country pumped 11.09 million barrels a day in the first week of June, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, exceeding its agreed limit of 10.95 million.

"I think the Trump tweet makes the Saudi's job of getting compromise at the OPEC meeting tougher", said Joe McMonigle, senior energy policy analyst at Hedgeye Potomac Research in Washington. Saudi Arabia has already started pumping more crude. The two countries together accounted for nearly 17% of world oil consumption a year ago, making them ideally suited to take on the oil exporting cartel.

Oil prices are set, for the most part, by Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, it's OPEC partners.

India and China are discussing ways to boost imports of USA crude to Asia, a move aimed at reducing their dependence on cargoes from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to an Indian government official.

Prices peaked in late May, scraping the $80 per barrel ceiling on the Brent futures contract and $72.24 on the West Texas Intermediate.

More news: Who's Performing at the Opening Ceremony?

There are now fears that prices could rise steeply if supplies are disrupted from OPEC members Venezuela and Iran. President Vladimir Putin will host Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, while energy ministers Alexander Novak and Khalid Al-Falih will also meet. The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) representing the 24 Opec and non-Opec producing countries participating in the voluntary production adjustments will next meet in Vienna on June 21.

The outlook for the oil market in the second half of this year is uncertain, analysts say, and OPEC argues there are downside risks to demand.

Various sources show that "considerable uncertainty as to world oil demand and non-OPEC supply prevails", OPEC said, leading to a wide range of estimates for the remainder of 2018.

"OPEC has the lowest spare capacity ever right now", said fund manager Pierre Andurand, in a tweeted response to Trump.

Rising U.S. stocks partly reflect a surge in U.S. crude production, which has jumped by nearly a third in the last two years to a record 10.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

According to figures compiled by Platts from market players, Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) and tanker tracking service companies that monitor crude shipping movements, Nigeria's crude oil production for the month of May plunged by 150,000 barrels per day.

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