Lower oil prices or we will not ‘defend’ you

Oil prices chart new territory on supply-side concerns

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

"OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years", Kazempour said.

Historically that has been the case, and with Saudi production already at record levels, Trump's expectation that the Saudis will make up for Iran's shortfalls are not realistic. However, at its June meeting, OPEC agreed to slightly increase oil production. USA crude futures were up 32 cents at $74.46, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75. While OPEC is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's sanctions on group members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainties, just as U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods kick in on Friday. Brent crude was trading at $77.42, up $0.12 (0.16%) on the day. There have been supply outages in Venezuela, Libya, Canada, Angola, Iran, and Kazakhstan, according to the trade publication Oil Price. Long story short, he's anxious that higher prices at the pump will eat away at the savings he imagines are accruing to US consumers as a result of the tax cuts.

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Outside North America, looming United States sanctions against major oil exporter Iran were the focus of attention.

But Tehran has threatened to take drastic action on the oil supply in retaliation against Trump's attempt to curb its exports.

The oil market has been supported by a fall in output from Venezuela and the potential for a halt of Iranian oil exports due to US sanctions.

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Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile USA action. It is the sole sea passage connecting the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is used to transport oil to the world.

The leader of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member, has assured Trump that the kingdom can raise oil production if needed and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said the USA ban amounted to "self harm", adding that Iran's position is that oil should not be used as a weapon or for political purposes. Americans pay the second-lowest price per gallon among major economies.

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