As Brent Crude prices have been slowly creeping up to the $80 mark for a week, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter again to slam OPEC about pushing prices higher, sending oil down early on Thursday.
“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. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!” President Trump tweeted in his latest rant against the cartel for keeping prices high.
After relatively calm trading earlier in the day in which oil prices were slightly up, Brent and WTI took a turn downward after Trump’s tweet, and at 10:30 a.m. EDT, WTI Crude was down 0.28 percent at $70.57 and Brent Crude was down 0.67 percent at $78.39.
In July, President Trump sent out his fourth tweet about high oil prices and OPEC in as many months.
“The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
President Trump started criticizing OPEC for manipulating prices in April, when oil reached highs last seen at the end of 2014.
On the day of the OPEC meeting in June when the cartel was discussing whether to boost production to offset expected losses from Iran and Venezuela, President Trump tweeted again: “Hope OPEC will increase output substantially. Need to keep prices down!” Related: Saudi Oil Inventories Continue To Plummet
Today’s verbal Twitter chastisement of OPEC comes just days before OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC partners in the production cut deal meet in Algiers this weekend to review the state of the oil market.
The cartel and its allies will discuss how to divvy up the 1 million bpd production increase they pledged in June, but no further immediate action is planned, OPEC sources have told Reuters.
So far this week, oil prices have trended higher, first on reports of Saudi Arabia being okay with letting Brent Crude above $80, which had the market wondering if the Saudis would lift production further in the coming months to offset supply losses from Iran, and then with the EIA reporting on Wednesday crude and gasoline draws for the week to September 14.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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