Iran tells Trump: Please stop tweeting, you're driving up oil prices

Virginia Carson
July 6, 2018

Having failed to persuade the other parties to the Iran nuclear deal to abandon it, Trump has decided instead to bully them into acting the way he wants, Julian Lee points out in his Bloomberg column.

King Salman briefed the cabinet on the telephone call he had received from President Donald Trump during which the two leaders confirmed the need to exert efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets and the growth of the world economy.

However, in a statement, the White House said the king had agreed to increase production if needed and said no specific amount was pledged.

Saudi Arabia is said to have spare capacity of 2 million barrels per day, but it's not clear whether that much could be available immediately.

Abu Dhabi said it's ready to increase oil output in line with guidance set by OPEC and allied producers, echoing comments by Saudi Arabia that it will boost supply to meet demand.

Hook declined to say if the kingdom can offer that additional supply, but the USA is "working to minimize disruptions to the global market", Hook said.

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OPEC's June output was 32.32 million barrels per day (bpd), a Reuters survey showed on Monday, up 320,000 bpd from May.

Kazempour said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, with a potential production cut of one million to two million BPD coming into play, it is no wonder a sub-one million BPD production rise has failed to dent market optimism.

The Trump administration has been counting on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to supply enough oil to offset the lost Iranian exports and prevent oil prices from rising sharply.

Saudi Arabia now produces some 10 million barrels of crude oil each day.

USA crude futures CLc1 were down 58 cents at $73.56 per barrel by 12:00 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), still in sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

Saudi Arabia, which has been pumping about 10 million barrels per day, holds the largest spare capacity in the world and is the only country that can add substantial supply to the market.

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WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) witnessed good two-way price movements so far this Wednesday, now down more than a dollar from daily tops at $ 74.88, as the recovery attempts remain capped by the $ 74 handle.

The State Department has said it expects the "vast majority" of countries will comply with the USA request.

Traders said the decline in fuel inventories was largely down to the outage at Syncrude Canada's 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil sands facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, which is expected to last through July.

Some major importers of Iranian crude have sent mixed signals on their willingness to abide United States sanctions, particularly as inventories remain low.

President Donald Trump lashed out at OPEC with a warning to stop manipulating oil markets and piled pressure on USA ally Saudi Arabia to raise supplies to compensate for lower exports from Iran.

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