Trump says gas prices are up, OPEC 'doing little to help'

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

President Donald Trump has again lashed out at an global body - this time, it's the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which he accused Wednesday afternoon of driving up gas prices.

Oil futures were climbing on Thursday, with US crude hovering at its highest in about 3-1/2 years as supply disruptions continue to support the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.32 million bpd in June, a Reuters survey showed, up 320,000 bpd from May.

The Saudis have increased oil production, following an OPEC meeting last month, but it hasn't been enough to overcome the effects of reduced supplies from other producers.

The president's call to "reduce pricing" was an apparent reference for oil producers to churn out more supply in order to contain spiking oil prices.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers will meet Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss how to keep the accord alive after the US withdrawal from the pact. "The UAE can increase production at a point when oil price remaining high so they will increase their market share and it is positive for economic outlook and also the fiscal positon will see a surplus this year due to higher oil revenues", she said.

Kazempour said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The OPEC Basket price per barrel of crude oil is about $74.

Trump's abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal may have consequences for oil prices. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures. "He has agreed", Trump tweeted on June 30. "We will make the enemy understand that either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one", Jafari was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said the U.S. ban amounted to "self harm", adding that Iran's position is that oil should not be used as a weapon or for political purposes. Americans pay the second-lowest price per gallon among major economies.

Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile USA action.

"Donald Trump's call on other countries to stop buying crude oil from Iran and putting European companies under pressure with Nigeria and Libya being crisis-stricken, Venezuela's crude oil output having plunged and Saudi Arabia's consumption increasing due to summer, would be a kind of self-harm for the U.S. as it would lead to dramatic price hikes in the oil market", Ardebili said.

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