Trump calls on OPEC to hike output as US gas prices poised to rise

President Trump on Thursday called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase the flow of oil in a bid to curb rising prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude prices fell more than $1 to about $58.39 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude prices also fell about $1.14, to $66.69 per barrel.

Brent crude prices hit their 2019 high earlier this month and have risen more than 25 percent so far this year, according to Reuters.

Crude oil accounts for more than half of the retail price of regular gasoline, meaning consumers are starting to pay more at the pump.

However, even if Trump gets his wish, gas prices are still likely to rise this spring.

As previously reported by FOX Business, there are a number of seasonal factors that are contributing to the increase – while massive flooding across parts of the Midwest was expected to contribute to short-term pain at the pump for some people on the coastal regions.

As of Thursday, gas prices were hovering near $2.68, according to AAA. That is up more than 20 cents when compared with last month and about 4 cents when compared with last year.

GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, told FOX Business he expects gas prices to rise by as much as 30 cents per gallon before peaking in April or May – while the national average could near $3 per gallon.

OPEC is no stranger to criticism from the U.S. president. Last month he told the organization to “please relax and take it easy,” saying oil prices were getting “too high.”

At their December meeting, OPEC members agreed to curb output by 1.2 million barrels per day for the first half of 2019, an effort aimed at boosting prices. Production among the group has been on the decline amid U.S. sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela.

While Trump has hit out at OPEC for rising oil prices, he took credit when gas prices began to decline at the end of last year:


The highest prices consumers have paid while Trump has been in office was in May, when the average price hit $2.97 per gallon. The lowest prices were seen earlier this year, when they clocked in at $2.23 per gallon on Jan. 9.