Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Iran tells Trump: Stop tweeting, it's driving up oil prices

India’s oil imports from Iran surged after US sanctions were lifted in 2015 India’s oil imports from Iran surged after US sanctions were lifted in 2015
Russell Knight | 05 July, 2018, 18:41

On Tuesday, WTI hit its highest since November 2014 at $75.27.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was up 1.32 percent as of 9:15 a.m. EDT to $78.32 per barrel.

US President Donald Trump has been attacking OPEC for keeping oil prices artificially high - but officials in Iran insist that Trump's tweets are driving crude prices higher.

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", he wrote. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he added.

When that wasn't enough to offset the threat of lost Iranian barrels, he pushed the envelope further, taking to Twitter last weekend to (literally) announce that he had called King Salman on the phone and asked for a 2 million b/d unilateral increase from the Kingdom, a move which, if implemented, would amount to Riyadh effectively going rogue (although, in an effort to stay on Trump's good side, the Saudis' allies in OPEC would likely keep their mouths shut).

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

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Tehran blames rising prices on USA sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela, founding members of the cartel.

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister on the outlook for oil prices.

Implied options volatility, a way of measuring uncertainty among crude oil traders and investors, is at its highest since the run-up to last month's OPEC meeting where an agreement was reached to ease output curbs in place since January 2017.

Ship brokerage Banchero Costa said Iran's crude oil production was now around 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), but added "there is the risk of production decreasing going forward as exports are again affected by renewed sanctions implemented by the USA".

NAB said its oil price forecasts "point to Brent spending the next few months largely in the mid-to-high $70s (per barrel) range, although meaningful OPEC-Russia output increases could push prices lower later in the year and higher USA shale production should impose an upside limit on WTI".

Crude oil prices saw mixed activity today, widening the spread between WTI and Brent crude as Libya's oil production continues to suffer at the hands of the two rival NOC factions who are determined to duke it out.

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