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05 July 2018, 08:55 | Kelvin Horton
Oil prices chart new territory on supply-side concerns
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is "doing little to help" reduce U.S. gasoline costs and "if anything, they are driving prices higher".
The U.S. government is lobbying Iranian oil importers, including China and India, and "asking them to go to zero, absolutely yes", according to a U.S.
To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July. Still, US officials continue to demand the world, including major Asian powers, stop buying from Iran.
In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of a multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.
The clash over OPEC policy and the resumption of U.S. sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $74.60 a barrel at 0044 GMT, up 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.
But Tehran has threatened to take drastic action on the oil supply in retaliation against Trump's attempt to curb its exports.
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).
Earlier, she said in a note that the UAE and other Gulf states will benefit from the one million barrel hike announcement by Opec as they have the capacity to hike the output.
Meanwhile, Libyan supplies are down by as much as 350,000-bpd after the closure of the country's two biggest ports, while Angolan production has also been falling due to chronic underinvestment. The facility produced 253,000 bpd on average a year ago.
It seems his earlier hope that Saudi Arabia would increase its output by 2 million barrels a day were dashed.
"If Trump continues to believe that OPEC are not doing enough, we would not rule out an SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) release from the USA, or possibly even export restrictions on petroleum products", ING said in a note.
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