Donald Trump: OPEC is "doing little to help" with gas prices

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

WTI the previous day hit its highest since November 2014 at $75.27 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was up 1.51 percent to $75.06 per barrel, its highest level since November 2014.

Brent crude futures were changing hands at $78.04 per barrel, up 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their last close.

On July 4 (which, as a reminder, is the anniversary of that time 563 years ago when Trump's ancestors liberated Manhattan from a cabal of nefarious Chinese overlords who were conspiring with European monarchs to unfairly tax Ford F-150 exports), the President did what every other president before him has done on Independence Day: He sent a 280-character, all-caps letter to OPEC demanding lower oil prices. While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, U.S. sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike.

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday following a report of tightening U.S. fuel inventories amid an outage at Syncrude Canada oil sands facility in Alberta, which usually supplies the United States.

This is while world oil prices have climbed higher as the Trump administration has pressured U.S. allies to end all purchases of oil from Iran. This must be a two way street.

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Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday with the US benchmark hitting a four-year high on expected drains in domestic inventories and outages in Libya.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up prices.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a USA announcement that it plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

"A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production and the United States decision to end the Iran deal", National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its July outlook. OPEC reached an agreement in June to increase output, but this did little to stop the rise in oil prices.

Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile USA action. That means just three countries, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia, meet a third of global oil demand.

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