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Oil: Prices have rallied, but OPEC will be key

Oil: Prices have rallied, but OPEC will be key

Oil: Prices have rallied, but OPEC will be key

President Donald Trump says OPEC is "doing little to help" rising gas prices and claims "if anything, they are driving prices higher".

President Trump has also been busy tweeting his irritation at OPEC, saying the cartel is not doing enough to keep oil prices in check.

Rising gasoline prices in the U.S. could create a political headache for Trump before November mid-term congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the United States economy, Reuters wrote in its report.

Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Thursday that Trump had raised oil prices through his tweets.

As for Trump's enthusiastic use of social media, Ardebili added, "Your tweets have increased the prices by at least $10; please stop this method". "Looming US sanctions on Iran, however, are causing serious concerns amongst market players". "To us it is clear that harsh application of Iranian sanctions will very likely spiral oil prices higher", Sankey wrote yesterday.

U.S. light crude settled up 20 cents at US$74.14 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of US$72.73 a barrel.

US crude stockpiles rose 1.3-million barrels last week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), against analysts' expectations of a 3.5-million-barrel decline.

United States crude futures were down 58c at $73.56 a barrel by 4pm GMT, still in sight of Tuesday's three-and-a-half-year high above $75.

Production at Syncrude Canada's 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil sands facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, was hit by a power outage last month and is likely to remain offline through July, helping drain USA inventories.

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High oil prices make fracking more economically viable for the USA, now the third largest producer of oil worldwide.

"A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production and the USA decision to end the Iran deal", National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its July outlook.

Involuntary drops in supply in Venezuela, Angola and Libya have made the cutbacks even bigger, although OPEC - led by Saudi Arabia - has since agreed to a modest increase in output.

Ardebili also told Trump, "You are hammering on good guys in OPEC".

Meanwhile, the market continued to watch rising US crude output, with this week's oil drilling rig count data, an indicator of future production, due at 1 p.m.

Later speaking to Reuters, the Iranian declared that oil prices will rise to Dollars 100, and it will all be Trump's "fault".

Trading activity is expected to be limited on Wednesday by the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

The price for Brent crude oil was just above $78 per barrel as of 8:16 a.m. EDT, up from the June 28 close of $77.85.

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