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.

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