Gas prices are up and OPEC ‘doing little to help’

Russian budget gets $65 billion boost from OPEC oil production cut deal

Russian budget gets $65 billion boost from OPEC oil production cut deal

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading lower early Thursday and for the week after President Trump turned up the heat on OPEC to reduce prices for crude. USA crude futures CLc1 were up 19 cents at $74.33 a barrel, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75 a barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $73.98 per barrel. While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, United States sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he added.

Last month, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel agreed to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil daily, a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices.

"With contentious midterm USA elections looming, the President continues to strong-arm Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies which, at least for now, is containing price action below WTI $75 per barrel", said Stephen Innes, Head of Trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.

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


Oil surged in the past two weeks as the US pushes allies to end imports of Iranian crude, disruptions persist in places like Libya and American crude inventories shrink.

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister on the outlook for oil prices.

"If they want to stop Iranian oil exports, we will not allow any oil shipment to pass through the Strait of Hormuz", Ismail Kowsari, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, told Iran's Young Journalists Club, Reuters reported.

Matthew Smith, the director of commodity research at ClipperData, told UPI that oil prices so far this week are moving on one hand on OPEC pledges of more production, but correcting later on fears of supply-side strains.

Crude oil prices saw mixed activity today, widening the spread between WTI and Brent crude as Libya's oil production continues to suffer at the hands of the two rival NOC factions who are determined to duke it out. He also called on the United States to join world powers in a meeting with Iran in Vienna on Friday.

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