Trump slams OPEC as IEA anticipates near-term oil price relief

President Donald Trump is declaring that oil prices are too high and blaming a coalition of countries that control a significant portion of the world's supply of crude petroleum.

An oil production shortfall in Iran and Venezuela may force OPEC and Russian Federation to decide later this month to open their taps, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. A mix of new US sanctions on Iran, chaos in Venezuela and robust global growth has tightened the oil market.

Barely recovered from the roller coaster ride of recent weeks, traders are holding their breath for the June 22 meeting of oil ministers from OPEC member states in Vienna.

Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, fired back quickly at Trump's words. They plan to discuss oil, amongst other things. "Not good!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday after last raising the issue in April. Oil prices are artificially Very High!

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The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices.

Yet, even with the 1.8 million-bpd production rollback, the total OPEC/non-OPEC level would still be around 1 million bpd below the October 2016 levels, because some producers, notably Saudi Arabia, have cut more than intended, while others, most notably Venezuela, have seen involuntary production declines and are unable to lift production, the person told Bloomberg.

Earlier in the session, Brent and US 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.

To make up for the losses, the IEA estimated that Middle East Opec countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 million bpd.

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That's one reason the U.S.is putting diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to increase production, hopefully pushing down gasoline prices, before the USA votes in midterm elections that could decide which party controls Congress.

Oil prices across the country have crept up toward $3 a gallon as the United States hits its peak summer travel season - still less than the $4 a gallon in 2008 during the 2007-2009 Great Recession, according to Reuters.

Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above US$150 a barrel in less than two years.

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