Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

India’s oil imports from Iran surged after US sanctions were lifted in 2015

India’s oil imports from Iran surged after US sanctions were lifted in 2015

Iran's oil minister says there has been no significant change in the country's oil production and export despite USA pressures.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in U.S. gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help", Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 37 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at 73.77 dollars per barrel.

And naturally the Saudis will ply the President with the old "market balance and stability" line as well - the readout of the telephone conversation between Trump and the Saudi king looked nearly exactly like the conversations other Presidents have had in the past with Saudi Arabia on oil prices - and just as meaningless.

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However, oil prices have shot up and Trump, anxious about the impact on United States voters ahead of November midterm elections, is appealing to the Saudis for help.

USA crude futures dropped 90 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $73.22 per barrel as of 11:18 a.m. EST (1518 GMT).

"On the bearish side both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are living up to their promise to increase output", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up the market.

Oil was mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up US crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production.

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Saudi Arabia's objective, revealed at the OPEC meeting in June, has been to stabilise production and prices around current levels.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday said that it would be reducing prices of its Arab Light grade crude exports. OPEC and its allies, namely Russian Federation, had agreed in a June meeting to effectively raise output by 1 million barrels a day to help counteract lost barrels from Venezuela and Iran.

The US has asked countries to cut all oil imports from Iran by the start of November or else face powerful sanctions, a senior official of the State Department stated.

On Wednesday, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said Tehran might block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

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