Trump, Iran trade sharp words over oil prices ahead of OPEC meeting

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Washington: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving up oil prices, in a fresh swipe at the cartel´s agreement to cap production.

But the US request and a Trump tweet in April that blamed OPEC for high oil prices has caused a split within the oil group, with some members accusing Saudi Arabia of being too eager to do Trump's bidding.

He last raised the issue in April. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High!

With output in Russian Federation rising back above 11 million bpd in June and Saudi production climbing to more than 10 million bpd, supplies from the top three producers are increasing.

U.S. oil production has more than doubled in the past decade, including a 19 per cent increase since OPEC's limits took effect in January 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In a welcome move, India and China are working on combining their forces to counter Opec's ability to dictate crude oil prices.

Trump sparked the latest back-and-forth on Wednesday when he renewed his attack on OPEC, saying in a tweet that oil prices are too high and blaming the cartel. The headlines have sent the price down over the last few minutes of trading.

In April, Trump also tweeted: "Looks like OPEC is at it again".

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader which has indicated its support for hiking output at next week's meeting in Vienna, has said it is alert to the potential squeeze on the market.

Oil price report released yesterday by OPEC showed that Brent crude was down 20 cents at $75.68 a barrel, as US light crude was 35 cents lower at $66.01.

"The demand metrics here are incredible for crude oil and gasoline", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in New York, Reuters reported.

While OPEC and its partners agreed a total cut of 1.8 million barrels a day, unplanned losses in Venezuela mean the actual reduction is about 2.4 million, data from the International Energy Agency shows.

The two sides kicked off formal talks in Beijing on Monday for forming an oil buyers' club, a development that is likely to weigh on Opec ministers, who are meeting to discuss an end to production cuts later this month.

Predictions for the scale of increase ranged from about 180,000 barrels a day to as much as 1 million barrels.

Rolling back most but not all of their output cuts within three months.

Amid indications that India is looking at non-OPEC sources of crude such as the United States and China to beat down prices, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday met ambassadors from the cartel's member-countries to deliver a sharp message: be "responsible" with oil pricing or lose market share.

The IEA report comes a day after OPEC warned of "considerable uncertainty as to world oil demand".