All Eyes on OPEC as Trump Gripes over Prices
Just nine days before a big OPEC meeting, US President Donald Trump joined the oil-market fray Tuesday, blaming the group for high prices, according to Agence France-Press.
“Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!” the US president said on Twitter.
Trump’s grousing follows reports suggesting the oil exporters group was already planning to open the spigots, an outcome the International Energy Agency hinted at in its monthly report released earlier Wednesday.
“Statements by several parties suggest that action in terms of higher supply could be on the way,” said the IEA, which represents the US and other oil-consuming nations.
The IEA suggested the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna would need to boost output because of a political crisis in Venezuela that has pinched petroleum output and Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear pact, which is expected to result in lower production from the Middle Eastern country.
Under one scenario weighed by the IEA, output from Venezuela and Iran by the end of 2019 could be 1.5 million barrels per day lower than it is today.
“To make up for the losses, we estimate that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 mb/ d and there could be more output from Russia on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non- OPEC supply numbers,”the IEA said.
OPEC flows were already higher in May, led by Saudi Arabia, the IEA said, adding that the oil kingpin was still in compliance with the Vienna deal caps.
Citing“people briefed on the discussions,” Bloomberg on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia had floated several oil output hike plans to fellow cartel members.
On the sidelines of the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will meet to discuss oil policy, Bloomberg added.