Trump Renews Twitter Assault on OPEC

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But, with Brent prices up by around 180 percent from their 2016 low, global crude inventories falling, Venezuelan production plummeting and imminent sanctions against Iran, the group may soon end their supply cuts.

OPEC, a group of 14 oil-producing nations, is expected to meet again later this month. "Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

But OPEC said on Tuesday the outlook for the oil market in the second-half of this year was highly uncertain and warned of downside risks to demand. Benchmark Brent crude was up 87 cents, or 1.2%, at $76.75/Bbl by 2:28 p.m. ET.

Prices, however, were already rising on growing demand and expectations that a sharp pullback in new investment by oil companies would reduce the oil supply.

President Donald Trump declared on Twitter that "oil prices are too high" and "OPEC is at it again", implying he believes the world's largest oil producers are constricting supply beyond what is reasonable to support their ailing economies. They have shown discipline in limiting production since the start of past year, helping push up the benchmark price of global crude. Trump tweeted in April.

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After peaking in May at $80.50 a barrel, prices have pulled back, with the price of Brent crude trading on Wednesday near $76 at barrel, partly in anticipation that the deal may end, and as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have already started increasing production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Wednesday's trading session 28 cents higher, at $66.64 a barrel, its highest closing price in almost two weeks, Kallanish Energy reports.

"Markets are braced for the most fractious conference as OPEC members look fundamentally divided", said Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu.

Cumulative crude oil output from Nigeria's oil industry decreased from 1.88million barrels per day (mbd) in April to 1.73 mbd in May, indicting steady decline as host community issues and social instability in operating environment begin to impact production.

"Expect more of the same whippy markets driven by rumors and innuendo ahead of the June 22 Vienna OPEC meeting", Innes said.

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USA crude production has surged over the past eight years thanks to a shale boom, driven primarily by gains in the prolific Permian basin, which stretches across West Texas and eastern New Mexico.

"For 2019, our first estimate of demand anticipates growth of 1.4 mln barrels per day".

"The U.S.is important to us, but. we have not received any official communication, or even unofficial communication, from the administration", he told CNN.

However, it cautioned that there are possible downside risks to the demand outlook, including "the possibility of higher prices, a weakening of economic confidence, trade protectionism and a potential further strengthening of the US dollar".

OPEC's own oil production rose slightly in May, the monthly report showed.

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