Trump renews attack on OPEC, says oil prices too high

Gold daily chart triangle on the verge of breaking

President Donald Trump declared on Twitter that "oil prices are too high" and "OPEC is at it again", implying he believes the world's largest oil producers are constricting supply beyond what is reasonable to support their ailing economies.

The oil price will be a critical factor when OPEC and its partners meet in Vienna next week to decide on a possible extension of a production cut deal - which crucially included giant producer Russian Federation - that has been key to the oil price recovery.

"This is business, Mr. President - we thought you knew it". According to the industry experts, both the countries are reportedly ready to increase their oil output, with new streamlined oil and gas projects in both Middle East and Africa.

"Statements by several parties suggest that action in terms of higher supply could be on the way", said the IEA, which represents the United States and other oil-consuming nations.

Since early 2017, OPEC and other oil-producing countries have agreed to reduce supply in a bid to bolster oil prices.

The IEA meanwhile revised upwards its estimate for 2018 non-OPEC growth to 2 mb/d, and to 1.7 mb/d in 2019.

India has discussed with China the possibility of forming an "oil buyers club" that can negotiate better terms with oil sellers and get more U.S. crude to Asia to cut the dominance of oil producers' cartel Opec. That was a result of an increase in supply from Russia, Venezuela and other Opec nations desperate for cash and an important new arrival on the scene - fracking firms in the USA, which had begun pumping huge quantities of oil and gas.

Citing "people briefed on the discussions", Bloomberg on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia had floated several oil output hike plans to fellow cartel members.

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Novak met with al-Falih in Moscow ahead of the Russia-vs-Saudi Arabia opening match of the World Cup and discussed a gradual exit from the cuts.

Trump's complaints about OPEC come amid expectations of a more costly U.S. summer driving season.

In the United States, output has risen by nearly a third in the last two years, to a record of 10.8 million bpd. Sliding Venezuelan output has added to supply concerns. "The real catalyst for the recent rise in prices is the sanctions on Iran".

Brent crude oil LCOc1 lost 80 cents to settle at $75.94 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 gained 25 cents to settle at $66.89.

The development has come at a time when even the U.S. has expressed its unease over Opec's attempts to keep oil prices high by capping its production.

But OPEC, Russia and others have said any increase in output would be made gradually.

"Our best guess is now that there will be no formal decision to change the production target, but a rather a type of agreement or understanding that compliance will be relaxed", said Johannes Benigni, chairman of JBC Energy Group in Singapore.

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