US: Trump accuses OPEC of ‘artificially’ boosting oil prices

US President Donald Trump accused Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Friday, April 20, of “artificially” boosting oil prices after a year-plus pact that has slashed global crude inventories, drawing rebukes from oil-producing countries as prices dipped following his remarks, reported Bloomberg.

Trump tweeted on Friday that “Oil prices are artificially Very High” because of OPEC, and the situation “will not be accepted.” The crude glut that’s weighed on prices for three years has almost been wiped out by OPEC’s production cuts, and the group aims to drive fuel inventories even lower.

The closest US allies within OPEC rejected Trump’s accusation, including oil ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Before the president’s tweet, energy ministers meeting in Saudi Arabia showed a desire to further tighten crude markets. Saudi Arabia is said to desire crude closer to US$80; earlier on Friday, it traded near US$74 a barrel in London.

Meanwhile, the US is seeking global oil dominance, expanding its own oil production so it relies less on OPEC. That’s increased the presence of American energy companies, and their desire for higher prices to facilitate growth, investment, profits and shareholder returns. Trump is seeking to open ocean areas for offshore exploration and allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in four decades.

Full Content: Bloomberg

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.