Trump rails against high oil prices, opec pushes back

Three Saudi officials told Reuters this week they would be happy to see oil hit $80 or $100 a barrel. Higher prices drive up gasoline prices for motorists worldwide and rising energy costs feed inflation. But higher oil prices have also benefited the U.S. energy industry, feeding rapid growth in output from shale fields. U.S. oil output is at record levels.

Delegates at an OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia said oil prices were higher partially because of global political tensions, mentioning sanctions on Venezuela, threats to the Iran nuclear agreement, strikes on Syria and saber-rattling over North Korea.

The group is next slated to meet in June to discuss output policy.


Ministers from both Iraq and the United Arab Emirates also disagreed with Trump on Friday, with Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi saying prices are "not very high" and that the market is stabilizing.

OPEC’s output fell in March to an 11-month low, according to a Reuters survey. The cartel has targeted the five-year average of inventories in 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries as a barometer for the deal’s success.

Beyond OPEC’s supply management, crude prices have been supported by expectations that Washington will re-introduce sanctions on OPEC-member Iran, and might expand sanctions against Venezuela after that country’s presidential election next month.

"If one concern about reinstating sanctions on Iranian oil is the impact that it could have on oil prices, then it could be a preemptive measure to blame OPEC instead," said Antoine Halff, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Three Saudi officials told Reuters this week they would be happy to see oil hit $80 or $100 a barrel. Higher prices drive up gasoline prices for motorists worldwide and rising energy costs feed inflation. But higher oil prices have also benefitted the U.S. energy industry, feeding rapid growth in output from shale fields. U.S. oil output is at record levels.

Delegates at an OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia said oil prices were higher partially because of global political tensions, mentioning sanctions on Venezuela, threats to the Iran nuclear agreement, strikes on Syria and sabre-rattling over North Korea.

The group is next slated to meet in June to discuss output policy. Ministers from both Iraq and the United Arab Emirates also disagreed with Trump on Friday, with Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi saying prices are "not very high" and that the market is stabilizing.

OPEC’s output fell in March to an 11-month low, according to a Reuters survey. The cartel has targeted the five-year average of inventories in 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries as a barometer for the deal’s success.

Beyond OPEC’s supply management, crude prices have been supported by expectations that Washington will re-introduce sanctions on OPEC-member Iran, and might expand sanctions against Venezuela after that country’s presidential election next month.

"If one concern about reinstating sanctions on Iranian oil is the impact that it could have on oil prices, then it could be a preemptive measure to blame OPEC instead," said Antoine Halff, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.