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US President Donald Trump fired another shot across OPEC’s bow on Wednesday, a day before the oil cartel is set to meet in Vienna to discuss possible production cuts.
“The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” the Tweet read, in part.
President Trump has issued a long string of Tweets directed at OPEC this year, lashing out at OPEC in the past for restricting production, which raises prices as supply tightens.
Oil prices were down on Wednesday, as OPEC has failed to give the market a clear signal that it will cut production, and that Russia would be on board with a production cut as well, should one be implemented.
WTI was trading down 0.08% at 2:24pm EST at $53.21, with Brent crude falling 0.16% to $61.98.
The fate of the OPEC meeting scheduled for December 6 and 7 is murky at best, with OPEC reportedly urging both Libya and Nigeria—two members exempt from the previous round of production cuts—to join in the production cut for this round. Without their buy-in, other members may feel less inclined to pick up their slack this time around. Iran, too, is a wildcard in the production cut talks, with its oil minister staunchly refusing to negotiate any production cuts for as long as the country remains under U.S. Sanctions.
The two major players in the production cut talks, Saudi Arabia and Russia, seem to be on board with a production cut, but the volume of cuts has yet to be determined, and it is also uncertain if they will go it alone should others refuse. Qatar’s withdrawal from the cartel after its decades-long history with the organization is but another worrying signal to OPEC that it may find additional resistance tomorrow.
President Trump’s Tweet could be seen as a warning to the cartel to measure any production cuts carefully, but OPEC has long been the target of Trump’s tweets, even prior to his presidency, chastising the organization for restricting oil during the near-$100/barrel days.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.