Oil falls as Trump urges OPEC to reduce prices

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President Donald Trump used Twitter on Wednesday (July 4) to express his frustration with high U.S.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said the United States ban amounted to "self harm", adding that Iran's position is that oil should not be used as a weapon or for political purposes.

But, so far, that hasn't lowered oil prices, largely because of the turmoil caused by Venezuelan and Iranian oil sectors, as well Libya pulling hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil out of the market as a result of upheaval there.

To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July.

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Brent crude futures LCOc1 lost 85 cents to settle at $77.39 a barrel. "You impose sanctions on major producers. and yet you are asking them to reduce the prices?". However, summer months in the USA usually lead to increased demand for oil, boosting the price of gasoline in a midterm election year.

Looming larger over markets is the U.S./China trade dispute.

"The more that Saudi Arabia adds to the market, the less of a supply cushion we have - that's a bullish twist to a bearish development", said Yawger at Mizuho.

Yesterday, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards in Tehran warned that any attempt to undermine Iran's oil exports will lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz-a narrow waterway vital to oil distribution in the Persian Gulf region. Although there is some general nervousness over the U.S.

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An additional fact to consider: Tariffs would make US oil uncompetitive in China.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing US sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases.

High oil prices make fracking more economically viable for the United States, now the third largest producer of oil worldwide.

"The kingdom is prepared to utilise its spare production capacity when necessary to deal with any future changes in the levels of supply and demand", a cabinet statement said, following a meeting chaired by King Salman.

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Oil prices climbed down from their 3 ½ year high to reach US$73 per barrel, with Brent trading at US$76.96 Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, about 300,000 bpd of Libyan oil has been taken off the market.

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