US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday in an effort to persuade OPEC to increase production and ease prices.
US President Trump had some choice of words for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members Thursday (September 20) morning ahead of the group’s meeting in Algeria on Sunday (September 23).
As the price of Brent crude teeters near US$80 a barrel, President Trump took to twitter in an effort to persuade OPEC to increase production and ease prices.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember,” he tweeted.
“The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”
Trump has been consistent in his demands and belief that oil prices are too high. Since September of 2017, the price of a barrel of Brent crude has climbed from roughly US$50 a barrel to US$78.66 today.
Aside from the presidential tweets, pressure has been mounting on OPEC to increase production ahead of US sanctions against Iran, which come into effect in November.
The sanctions are a result of Trump pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and will essentially remove hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from the market.
OPEC leaders are unlikely to heed the president’s warnings, however a source told Reuters, “Saudi Arabia is worried that any sanctions-related spike in oil prices will trigger fresh criticism from Trump, but it also faces doubts over its ability to compensate for a drop in Iranian supply.”
The Saudi’s fears about an inability to offset the lost Iranian barrels are already manifesting. In August, Saudi oil exports into the US reached a four-week average of 1 million barrels a day for the first time since late 2017, increasing by 250,000 barrels a day since late May.
Prices at the pump will likely be an ongoing issue as the Trump administration heads into the midterm elections this November.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.