Trump accuses OPEC of doing little to bring down high oil prices

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Trump tweeted Wednesday pointing fingers at "the OPEC Monopoly" for "driving prices higher".

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

The producers' group and partners agreed on June 23 to increase oil production, with the Saudi and Russian energy ministers saying it would add about 1 million barrels a day to the market.

The Trump-Saudi campaign to calm oil markets will by tested severely in the coming months as sanctions bite deeper into Iran's exports, risking even higher crude prices.

The White House said Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud agreed to raise output after the Trump administration ordered all countries to stop buying oil from the Islamic Republic by November or face USA sanctions, as part of Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Now that prices have rebounded from a low of $30 a barrel in January 2016 to about $75, OPEC and other exporters led by Russian Federation have agreed to slowly increase exports by what will effectively be 700,000 barrels a day now, with another half million barrels later in the year as sanctions on Iran take effect.

Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodities strategy at BNP Paribas, said when an investor does not have a strong view on which way the price of crude oil futures might move, they tend to take a bet on options instead, to protect themselves. "Seems like this is sort of related to Trump tweets", said Stewart Glickman, energy equity analyst at CFRA Research in NY.

In addition, a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to USA sanctions is a factor too.

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Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at 77.70 dollars per barrel at 6.53 GMT, down 54 cents, or 0.7 per cent, from their last close.

The governing principles in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would never allow such political pressures to change the directions of the market, he said.

Ardebili declared, "OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years".

"Another major consideration is the extent to which United States shale production will respond to higher prices". As a result, UBS raised its forecast for the price of Brent crude oil from around $80 per barrel for the six month range to $85 per barrel.

Tehran blames rising prices on USA sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela, founding members of the cartel. While Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's oil sanctions on Iran and trade frictions with China are adding to uncertainties with planned USA tariffs on Chinese goods set to start Friday. And while US shale oil production continues to rise, global demand for oil remains strong.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for USA crude futures, fell to their lowest level since December 2014.

Even so, renewed United States sanctions on Iran against its oil exports look set to tighten supply further.