Trump slams OPEC as oil prices trade near $80 a barrel

21 September, 2018, 13:09 | Author: Regina Silva

OPEC and its allies are unlikely to agree an official increase in crude output when they meet in Algeria this weekend, although pressure is mounting on top producers to prevent a spike in oil prices ahead of new USA sanctions on Iran, OPEC sources said.

Oil prices were mixed on Friday after falling in the previous session as U.S. President Donald Trump urged OPEC to lower crude prices ahead of its meeting in Algeria this weekend.

Trump's comments come ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting with Russian Federation and other big producers for the World Oil Outlook meeting in Algiers this weekend where they will discuss boosting output to push prices down and compensate for looming sanctions on Iranian oil.

Trump has earlier called for members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - primarily cartel kingpin and USA ally Saudi Arabia - to raise their production, and warned importers to stop buying oil from Iran or face U.S. sanctions.

Prices have risen as American sanctions curb Iran's oil exports.

Prices at the pump have creeped upward since Trump took office, with the average price for all grades climbing from $2.45 in January 2017 to $2.67 a year later and to $2.91 in August, down from a 2018 high of $2.98 in May, the start of the summer travel season, according to government data.

Despite Thursday's losses, Brent prices have flirted with $80 a barrel this month, the highest price since May.

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Over the past year, refiners in the East Coast have been receiving as much US crude oil from the Gulf Coast by tanker or barge as they have received from the Midwest by rail.

His first attack on OPEC came on April 20, just hours after Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that OPEC would continue its production cuts so that oil prices could rise further.

The so-called 'OPEC+' coalition meets on Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate that 1 million bpd increase within its quota framework.

Global benchmark Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 5 cents at $78.75 a barrel by 0424 GMT.

United States sanctions on Iran's oil exports come into force in November, with supply from the country already at two-year lows.

"It is our hope that with the gradual return of confidence in the market we will be able to see a higher level of investment in the industry, that will ensure that at any given time a certain level of spare capacity will serve us as a buffer against volatility".

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