"With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High!"
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of driving up oil prices, in a fresh swipe at the cartel's agreement to cap production.
"The prospect of easing supply curbs from OPEC-led producers continues to be reflected in oil's overall depressed price", said Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM. A mix of new USA sanctions on Iran, chaos in Venezuela and robust global growth has tightened the oil market.
The full organization, plus non-members like Russian Federation who agreed to take part in the earlier round of production cuts, are meeting June 22 and 23 in Vienna.
Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, fired back quickly at Trump's words. Trump wrote on Twitter in April.
The Paris-based agency last month cut its forecast for global oil demand growth for this year as oil prices approached $80 a barrel. The U.S. has lobbied Saudi Arabia and other members, arguing they need to raise output by 1 million barrels a day to keep prices in check, people told Bloomberg News earlier this month.
"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the U.S. and European oil futures contracts.
Oil prices are set, for the most part, by Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, it's OPEC partners.
However, it is unclear whether other nations will commit to raising production.
That's one reason the U.S.is putting diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to increase production, hopefully pushing down gasoline prices, before the USA votes in midterm elections that could decide which party controls Congress.
Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above US$150 a barrel in less than two years. Prices nationwide have edged up toward $3 a gallon as the US hits its peak summer travel season, still less than the $4 a gallon in 2008 during the 2007-2009 Great Recession.