Trump hits ‘artificially high’ oil prices: ‘OPEC is at it again’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 20, 2018

As oil prices on April 19 hit their highest levels in years, U.S. President Donald Trump said the “artificially very high” prices “will not be accepted.”

Brent and West Texas Intermediate fell around 1 percent after Trump’s tweet on OPEC.

The U.S. shale boom largely led to crude prices dropping below $30 per barrel in early 2016. This week, Brent crude neared $75 per barrel, the highest price since November 2014.

Industry analysts say OPEC, which next meets in June, and other oil producing countries have been curbing production in an attempt to push prices to $80 per barrel.

Trump tweeted on April 20: “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”

The main crude oil benchmark prices, Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), fell around 1 percent after Trump’s tweet, according to a BBC report.

Meanwhile, the oil market is also focused on a May 12 deadline that Trump faces to decide whether to extend sanctions relief for Iran under the nuclear deal with world powers.

Trump says he will not waive the sanctions unless he can reach a deal with France, Germany and the UK to toughen the terms of the deal.

“We’ve had some resistance from the EU three that we’ve been dealing with, but maybe there will be a breakthrough before May 12. If there’s not, I absolutely believe that he’ll leave the agreement,” Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNBC on April 19.

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