14-09-2018

Iran OPEC governor accuses Trump of ‘bullying world’ and oil markets

Iran’s OPEC governor has blamed US President Donald Trump for “bullying” oil markets and warned of the economic consequences for Europe and Asia from higher prices after crude breached $80/b.

“Oil prices are getting higher in favor of Russia and Saudi Arabia while the US is punishing its allies,” said Hossein Kazempour Ardebili in an interview with S&P Global Platts on Wednesday.

His remarks come as Brent crude breached $80/b in London trading and Europe’s largest bank HSBC warned a spike to $100/b was a risk when US sanctions on Iran, which come into force in November, limit the Middle East producer’s exports.

“The US’ only choice is to appeal to Russia and Saudi to produce more. They already started in Washington and Moscow, but seems they cannot do more,” said Kazempour.

OPEC’s latest survey of production on Wednesday showed Iranian output already falling, down to 3.60 million b/d in August, its lowest production in more than two years. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, pumped almost 10.5 million b/d in the same period.

His remarks also come as Russian energy minister Alexander Novak asserted that his country could boost supply if required. Iran is due to attend the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting of OPEC and its allies led by Russia in Algiers on September 23.

Kazempour added that Trump’s policies would “punish Europe, Japan, China and India with higher oil and gas prices and rush to [sell] arms to Saudi Arabia.”

Source: Platts

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