“Oil is not a weapon- it is not a political tool to be used against some countries, producers or consumers” -Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh
Opec will be gathering this Friday, and Iranian Oil Minister wants some assistance in making US President Donald Trump understand his place regarding crude oil supplies. This may be in response to a June 13th tweet from President Trump stating, “Oil Prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!”
In Trumps eyes, he is watching an energetic US economy struggling to run under the heavy weight of rising gas prices, with totals hovering around $3 a gallon. Trump has previously criticized The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and feels the prices are becoming too high for US consumers.
Late this Tuesday in Vienna, Zanganeh was speaking with reporters concerning Friday’s OPEC meeting, where a group which includes Russia and a number of other non-OPEC crude oil producers, will be the deciding factor on if the production cap, that expires at the end of 2018, could be extended further if members increase output limits.
US traded West Texas Intermediate Crude US:CLN8 and the international standard Brent oil LCOQ8, -1.27 were stronger in Wednesday’s trading, before the meeting and oil supply data was released.
Zanganeh told reporters it was Trump who started the tensions in the oil market by imposing sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, while expecting OPEC to just keep pumping more crude oil, according to the Dow Jones, and other news outlets. Zangane said the US is responsible for adding pressure to banks and corporations that operate in Iran, which is the main reason behind the higher oil prices.
In the meantime, on Wednesday, Iran did show some small signs of budging concerning a slight increase of OPEC oil output. Throughout the meeting, Saudi Arabia tried to convince fellow OPEC members for a large increase in crude oil production, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Major OPEC player, Saudi Arabia, since then has changed their stance on oil production after seeing Trump’s twitter attack on OPEC, and now their opinion falls along the same line as Iran’s.
“President Trump thinks that [he] can order OPEC and instruct OPEC to do something…It’s not fair, I think, and OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States,” Iran’s Zanganeh said. (Source: Marketwatch.com, ” ‘Oil is not a weapon’: Iran’s energy minister wants OPEC to push back against Trump.)