"We are protecting those countries, many of those countries", he said. Irritated by what he feels is a lack of cooperation from the Saudis who head OPEC, added: "If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s".
Faced with the return of US sanctions, Iran is studying a revival of a plan to barter crude oil for goods, possibly resuming the scheme that it used to try to blunt the impact of the previous round of sanctions between 2012 and 2016. Last month, the group agreed to lift production by about 1 million bpd to offset losses from Venezuela and Iran.
Meanwhile, Libyan supplies are down by as much as 350,000-bpd after the closure of the country's two biggest ports, while Angolan production has also been falling due to chronic underinvestment. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he added. Analysts and traders were predicting a draw of 1 million barrels.
At their meeting in Vienna last month, OPEC countries and key ally Russian Federation said they will raise production by a million barrels per day, but analysts are concerned it may not be enough for oil prices to spiral out of control, at least until new US shale production comes on stream. This must be a two-way street.
Antoine Halff, formerly a chief oil market analyst at the International Energy Agency and now senior fellow at Columbia University, said that Trump made three errors in his tweet: OPEC can influence market prices but is not a monopoly.
"As a result, American consumers would have to pay the price of Trump's unilateralism at gas stations".
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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a "Salute to Service" dinner held in honor of the nation's military at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 3, 2018. Prices to (sic) high!
Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing USA sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases. "Every president before Trump has done it and it tends to happen in an election year".
US crude futures fell $1.20 to settle at $72.94 a barrel, retreating from Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high of over $75.
Trump's pressure on OPEC comes just as key oil exporters were boosting output, which has been curtailed since 2016 to boost prices.
While tax cuts went mostly to individuals in the upper income ranges, the burden of higher gasoline prices will be felt mostly by individuals on lower incomes because they spend a higher proportion of their earnings on fuel.