Friday, 19 October, 2018

Saudi oil output reaches record highs, cooling oil prices

President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a rally Tuesday Oct. 2 2018 in Southaven President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a rally Tuesday Oct. 2 2018 in Southaven
Charlie Simmons | 04 October, 2018, 06:56

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Saudi Arabia would be unlikely to last a fortnight without military assistance from Washington.

"Mr Trump is very angry with some countries for not being able to replace the Iranian oil and has expressed this anger in his remarks to the Saudi king and to OPEC for not increasing output", he said.

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday on expectations of tighter markets once USA sanctions target Iran's petroleum industry from next month, although a strong dollar and rising United States crude supply curbed gains.

As oil prices have risen above US$80 a barrel, Trump has heaped more pressure on the world's top exporter of crude to do more to subdue the market and reimburse the costs of American military presence in the region.

The call grabbed the attention of oil traders and hedge funds, who are watching closely for any signs that the USA might take action against Saudi Arabia or other members of OPEC after Trump used his address at the United Nations General Assembly in NY on September 25 to hammer home those views. "But I said 'King we're protecting you, you might not be there for two weeks without us - you have to pay for your military".

Trump continued the pressure campaign at a campaign rally in MS on Tuesday, where he offered some details about the conversation.

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USA weekly Midwest refinery utilization rates dropped to 78.9 percent, their lowest since October 2015, according to the data. Would you say they are rich?

"Iran is the main supportive factor and is a test to the spare capacity of Saudi Arabia", said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix.

The Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

After all, Brent surged to $85 per barrel in recent days, evidence that oil traders are not convinced about OPEC's strategy. They partially relaxed the cut in June, under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to cool prices.

Trump in July tweeted without evidence that Saudi Arabia would increase its production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" a day.

Speaking at a West Virginia rally for local candidates of his Republican Party on Saturday, the president also criticised Japan and South Korea over the same issue. It was around $50 (€43) a year ago. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices.

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