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US' Trump takes aim at OPEC for 'too high' oil prices

Washington (Platts)--13 Jun 2018 837 am EDT/1237 GMT


US President Donald Trump took aim at OPEC on Wednesday, blaming the producer group for "too high" oil prices ahead of its meeting next week in Vienna.

"Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!" Trump tweeted.

It is the second time Trump has used Twitter as president to blast high oil prices and point the finger at OPEC.

"Looks like OPEC is at it again," Trump tweeted on April 20. "With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!"

Most oil watchers in Washington guessed Trump's April tweet was designed to pre-emptively shift the blame for high oil prices just before his administration announced it would reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil buyers, which is expected to send prices higher, and while it was deciding whether to impose oil-sector sanctions on Venezuela, which it has not done.

Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the Council on Foreign Relations' energy security and climate program, said the April tweet was a clear message to Saudi Arabia.

"The tweet was targeting US allies in the Gulf to be on notice that taking steps to tighten the oil market at a high-demand season when there is so much political risk is irresponsible and counter to the actions one might expect from aligned and responsible allies," she said.

--Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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