Donald Trump: OPEC is "doing little to help" with gas prices

Donald Trump: OPEC is

At their meeting in Vienna last month, OPEC countries and key ally Russian Federation said they will raise production by a million barrels per day, but analysts are concerned it may not be enough for oil prices to spiral out of control, at least until new USA shale production comes on stream.

Crude-oil prices retreated early Friday and were on track to book a weekly loss for the first time in three weeks, a day after the USA benchmark contract suffered its lowest settlement in more than a week amid signs of rising production in Saudi Arabia and protracted trade tensions between the United States and China, according to monitored reports.

Iran's representative to OPEC, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, replied on Thursday by blaming Trump. "Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!" the Iranian official added.

Despite the key member Saudi Arabia reaffirming that the cartel and its allies will boost output, Goldman Sachs warned that oil is likely to lead a new rally as the market faces significant supply risks from Venezuela to Iran.

Ardebili said Iran is also on the "two-way street" as a member of OPEC.

The potential trade war between the United States and China comes amid a tight oil market.

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.

Summer driving is having its typical effect on gas demand, which in turns increases the price at the pump.

Gasoline prices averaged $2.87 a gallon nationwide, up 28 percent from a year ago, according to AAA.

Oil prices fell more than 1%, but held close to three-and-a-half year peaks.

"Under these circumstances it is justified to argue for higher prices when production increases are announced", he said.

"It will increases the prices of oil in the global markets; at the end it is the American consumer who will pay the price for Mr. Trump's policy".

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Oil was mixed on Thursday, with United States crude slipping and Brent futures little changed after data showed an unexpected build in U.S. crude oil stockpiles.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 45 cents, or 0.6%, at $73.69 per barrel. Jimmy Carter struggled with high gas prices, which had doubled since the Iranian revolution.

Trump's scramble to slow down the oil rally comes four months ahead of USA midterms, where analysts say rising gasoline prices could hurt Republicans.

Trump might have good reason to worry about gasoline prices being used against him and his fellow Republicans.

"Saudi lowered some of the prices for some of its products to Asia and to Europe and to the US". "Gas prices are at insane levels - fire Obama!" he tweeted on October 12, 2012.

Unlike the situations with other presidents, however, Trump is directly linked to the current increases because of his push to block purchases of Iranian oil.

That wasn't the case when Obama negotiated with Iran. Obama accepted yearly reductions of 20 percent as "significant" enough to ramp up pressure on Iran.

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday their forces were ready to implement Iran's threat to block the Strait of Hormuz and that if Iran can not sell its oil under the US pressure, no other regional country will be allowed to. And while USA shale oil production continues to rise, global demand for oil remains strong.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up prices. Trump said the agreement was reached after a phone call with the Saudi King about oil production but mentioned no specifics.

The UAE was the fourth largest Opec producer with 2.89 million barrels per day in June after Saudi Arabia (10.3mbpd), Iraq (4.5mbpd) and Iran (3.7mpbd).

Spare capacity, especially from OPEC countries, is an important measure by analysts to determine major oil exporters' ability to respond to rising demand.

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