Oil prices drop as supplies increase


Earlier Wednesday, Trump tweeted that OPEC was "at it again" and that oil prices were "too high", even as his decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran could cause oil prices to go even higher.

Opec crude supply edged up to 50,000 bpd last month to nearly 32 million bpd, while the IEA revised upwards its estimate for 2018 non-Opec production growth to 2 million bpd, and in 2019 it expects to see bumper growth, albeit slightly reduced, of 1.7 million bpd.

While there are risks that could influence this estimate, including possibly higher prices, trade disruptions and a potential further strengthening of the USA dollar, the IEA said some governments are already considering measures to ease price pressures on consumers.

Meanwhile, output from Venezuela - a major oil exporter to the USA - has plunged as the country goes through a political and economic crisis. On a weekly basis, the U.S.is already producing at a record-high.

However, OPEC's president, Suhail Al Mazrouei, said on Tuesday that the USA has not asked the group to increase oil production in the wake of political unrest in oil-rich Venezuela and US sanctions on Iran. Using drilling advances such as fracking, operators in Texas and North Dakota have pushed US production higher.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018Bloomberg and Reuters reported last week that Trump requested that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members, such as Saudi Arabia, increase their oil production.

U.S. oil production has more than doubled in the past decade, including a 19 percent increase since OPEC's limits took effect in January 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But the Paris-based IEA, echoing statements from oil producers as well as analyst comment in recent weeks, said there may be a change to the so-called Vienna agreement.

Russia, alongside Saudi Arabia, has the highest spare capacity to boost production.

OPEC is under scrutiny in Congress, too. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said shielding a cartel like OPEC "makes a mockery of USA antitrust law, threatens the American economy and has the potential to harm our national security".

Jason Bordoff, a Columbia University professor and former energy adviser to President Barack Obama, said politicians always fret when gasoline prices rise before a big election.

The talks come within less than two months of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan proposing an alliance between Indian and Chinese staterun oil companies for a greater say in the market.

Shortly after Trump's tweet on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter to respond.



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