Oil prices fall as Trump demands OPEC 'reduce pricing now'

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al Falih speaks during a press conference with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the capital Riyadh on Feb. 14 2018

Global outages overshadow underwhelming OPEC output hike

Oil will soon cost $100 per barrel due to supply disruptions caused by US President Donald Trump, Iran's OPEC Governor told Reuters on Thursday, as he warned expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation would help bring down prices were in vain.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in USA gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

President Trump wrote in the tweet that the "Opec Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", and that America defends many Opec members for "very little" money.

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, lifted by a report of declining USA fuel inventories amid the ongoing crude supply outage at Syncrude Canada in Alberta, which usually supplies the United States.

Brent for September settlement lost 20 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$78.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after gaining 48 cents yesterday. "Reduce pricing now!" the United States leader tweeted. This must be a two way street.

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to 2 million barrels, an assertion the White House rowed back on in a subsequent statement.

Trump urged Saudi Arabia to pump more oil.

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OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation agreed last month to boost output by around a million barrels a day, reversing course after supply cuts that cleared a global glut and boosted prices.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up the market.

Zanganeh called the tension between Tehran and Washington a "trade war" and said it had not led to changes in Iranian oil production and exports.

Despite the pressure from the US, Indian official sources who briefed the media on Wednesday made it clear that Iran, India's third largest supplier of oil, remains an "important near neighbour".

"If Trump continues to believe that OPEC are not doing enough, we would not rule out a SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) release from the USA, or possibly even export restrictions on petroleum products", ING said, in a note.

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