Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Can Donald Trump Lower Gas Prices? President Lashes Out at OPEC

Can Donald Trump Lower Gas Prices? President Lashes Out at OPEC

Despite the growth, the Saudi supply remains compliant with the deal.

Trump may hope his comments will put pressure on US allies within OPEC to raise their oil production sooner rather than later, staving off any further increase in prices and easing the recent hit to American consumers' pockets at the gas pumps.

OPEC flows were already higher in May, led by Saudi Arabia, the IEA said, adding that the oil kingpin was still in compliance with the Vienna deal caps.

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he visits Russia for the opening of the soccer World Cup, and the two would discuss the oil deal, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

OPEC's own oil production rose slightly in May, the monthly report showed.

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Earlier in the session, Brent and USA crude futures had retreated on concerns about rising production in the United States and expectations that OPEC and other producers could relax voluntary output cuts when they meet on June 22-23 in Vienna.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.58 a barrel, down 6 cents from their last settlement.

"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the U.S. and European oil futures contracts.

The U.S.is putting pressure on OPEC members to increase production as global benchmark prices flirt with $80 a barrel, raising pump prices in the months before the U.S. votes in midterm elections that could decide which party controls Congress.

"With rising production from US shale adding to oil's woes and reviving oversupply concerns, further downside could be a possibility in the short to medium term", Otunuga said.

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OPEC's top producer, Saudi Arabia, topped the output-rise table among members, with its production growing to 10.01 million b/d in May, the survey found.

But uncertainty "warrants close monitoring of the factors impacting both world oil demand and non-OPEC supply that will shape the outlook of the oil market going forward", the report said.

India has discussed with China the possibility of forming an "oil buyers club" that can negotiate better terms with oil sellers and get more USA crude to Asia to cut the dominance of oil producers' cartel Opec.

International Energy Agency (IEA) sees India and China fuelling half of global demand growth in the next five years, with India driving incremental demand growth through the next two decades. OPEC has yet to set new production levels beyond that, but the cartel's oil ministers are meeting again next week in Vienna.

Moscow believes the new arrangement it proposes would provide stability for the oil market through a period of high demand during the northern hemisphere summer, the person said. Prices have risen around 60 percent over the past year.

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