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Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday again accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving gasoline prices higher and urged the oil producer group to do more.

Oil prices dropped Thursday after weekly government data showed a surprise rise in US crude stockpiles last week as refineries cut output, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate fuel inventories rose.

In his latest tweet on the subject on Wednesday, Trump said that the "OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help".

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.4 million barrels per day. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s.

However, oil prices have shot up and Trump, anxious about the impact on USA voters ahead of November midterm elections, is appealing to the Saudis for help.

Oil was mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up USA crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production. This must be a two way street.

Brent for September settlement lost 20 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$78.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after gaining 48 cents yesterday.

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That may reduce the pressure on Saudi Arabia to keep oil prices high, said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in NY.

Saudi Arabia had political reasons to respond positively to Trump's request, given its animosity to arch-rival Iran, which Trump is trying to bring to its knees through strict new sanctions.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up prices.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output totaling 1.8 million barrels per day (MMBPD) in January 2017, to prop up the market.

Oil output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation since January 2017 have reduced a glut of crude.

US crude oil stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, as imports grew and refineries cut output while gasoline inventories decreased almost double forecasts, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.


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