President Trump warned members of OPEC again on Thursday that now is not the time to be greedy or the protection provided by the U.S. to the Middle East could be in jeopardy.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!” he tweeted ahead of an OPEC meeting to discuss production on Sunday.
The OPEC slam sent oil prices down slightly, however prices have enjoyed a robust rally this year as production wanes. NYMEX crude is hovering at $70 per barrel, with a gain of nearly 18 percent this year, while Brent, which measures the global market, nears the $80 per barrel mark, up nearly 19 percent this year.
“OPEC does listen to Donald Trump,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The PRICE Futures Group, during an interview with FOX Business.
In July, the president sent a similar tweet, bemoaning prices at the pump, telling OPEC to “REDUCE PRICING NOW!”....Later that month OPEC boosted production by 41,000 to 32.32 million barrels, as noted in OPEC’s monthly report.
“The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
Oil prices have been rising as supplies fall. U.S. crude inventories fell last week for the fifth straight week by 2.1 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly data reported on Wednesday. U.S. oil inventories are about 3 percent below the 5-year average for this time of year.
Inquiries to OPEC by FOX Business were not returned by the time of publication.
Suzanne O'Halloran is Managing Editor of FOXBusiness.com and is a graduate of Boston College. Follow her on Twitter @suzohalloran