Oil prices fall as Donald Trump demands OPEC ‘reduce pricing now’

Oil futures traders work on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange in this file

The Republican wrote: "The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help".

If you've noticed that the prices at your local gas stations have been going up and down like a yoyo lately, you can blame it on the fickle price of oil. With the addition of the 10 Non-OPEC nations, notable among them Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan, those shares increase to 55 percent and 90 percent respectively.

High oil prices make fracking more economically viable for the U.S., now the third largest producer of oil worldwide. This must be a two way street.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a United States announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, which will also target its oil industry.

"Opec will, from July 1, strive to adhere to the overall conformity levels for the remaining duration of the Declaration of Cooperation", said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, on Tuesday. It may be a longer-term factor, but short-term, crude oil bulls are more interested in the supply disruptions.

The deal represents the latest successful policy effort by the 24 member supercartel, informally referred to as the "Vienna Group" or "OPEC+", to put their thumb on the scale of global oil markets.

Energy consultancy FGE on Friday issued a stark warning of looming supply shortages due to US sanctions against Iran, and because of disruptions elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia's objective, revealed at the OPEC meeting in June, has been to stabilise production and prices around current levels. Speaking Thursday, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, the Iranian governor to OPEC, said the US president was ill-informed on OPEC policies.

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"REDUCE PRICING NOW!", Trump tweeted on Wednesday, accusing OPEC of "doing little to help" lower pump prices. "Please stop it", Kazempour said.

"You are hammering on good guys in OPEC".

Involuntary drops in supply in Venezuela, Angola and Libya have made the cutbacks even bigger, although OPEC has now started to ease those curbs with Saudi Arabia pumping more. When combined with additional pressure from the United States to alleviate rising prices, as illustrated by a number of President Trump's tweets, production hikes were a foregone conclusion.

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

The Saudi Cabinet "affirmed the Kingdom's readiness to use its spare capacity when needed to deal with any future changes in oil supply and demand rates, in co-ordination with other producing countries", according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency.

A Saudi Arabian supply surge was to be expected.

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction (sic) in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference..."

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