U.S President Donald Trump has accused OPEC of artificially increasing the price of oil, which drew rebukes from some of the top energy exporters of the world.
Trump on Twitter wrote that it appeared OPEC was artificially boosting oil prices as record oil amounts can be found everywhere, including the ships at sea that are fully loaded, which makes the price of oil very high. He added that this would not be accepted.
No one is sure what prompted Trump’s tweet but it was the first in which Trump mentioned OPEC during his term in office on social media.
The prices of oil is nearing a high of three years, as it approaches $70 per barrel, and has been increasing since producers, both OPEC and non-OPEC, including Russia, cut production in January of 2017 to end a worldwide oil glut and collapse in prices.
The tweet by Trump appeared shortly after Saudi Arabia officials said they wanted to see oil prices climb more and they were far from the goal they have of ending the oil glut.
The cartel likely will keep production lower through the end of 2018 and until possibly some time in 2019.
Three officials from Saudi Arabia said this week that they would be happy with oil up between $80 and $100 per barrel. Higher prices push the price of gasoline up and rising costs of energy feed inflation. However, higher prices of oil have benefited the energy industry in the U.S., through the feeding of quick growth in output at the shale fields.
Despite the comments made by Trump, the benchmark prices for oil ended Friday slightly higher after bouncing back from earlier losses.
Several Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members responded to Trump’s tweet by saying that prices were not inflated artificially.
Delegates at a monitoring committee for OPEC as well as non-OPEC countries said that the price of oil was higher in part due to global political concerns, mentioning the Venezuelan sanctions, threats to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Syria strikes and North Korea saber rattling.
OPEC will meet in June to talk about output policy. Ministers from Iran and the United Arab Emirates were in disagreement with Trump with the Iraqi Minister saying that prices were not that high and the market was beginning to stabilize.