Price of oil at an 18 year low

Oil extends gains after Trump hints at intervening in Saudi Russia price war

The sun sets behind a crude oil pump jack on a drill pad in the Permian Basin in Loving CountyMore

Widdershoven points out that Trump just recently sought another change to the oil price - he actually complained about it being too high due to cuts as a result of the OPEC+ deal, blaming - unsurprisingly - Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia the most.

Just a couple of months ago, the world's two biggest oil producers were curbing output to push prices up, and United States producers were enjoying the fruits of those higher prices.

Now, the world is a very different place.

Oil has been whipsawed this week as investors weigh further stimulus measures to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic against collapsing demand and an impending supply flood from the world's biggest crude producers.

Meanwhile, domestic producers in the U.S. are also mulling the possibility of cutting their own output for the first time in decades to deal with the huge amounts of excess oil sitting idle in tankers and containers around the world.

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Instead, Trump should facilitate a dialogue between the key contributors to the excessive supply of crude that is pushing the prices down, including Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, Bjarne Schieldrop, the chief commodities analyst at SEB and a leading Nordic financial services group, thinks. But can it work?

"The uncertainty of what will happen is still an overhang and destabilizing markets", said Ryan Fitzmaurice, commodities strategist at Rabobank.

The price of oil has hit an 18-year low. "A deal between Texas and OPEC would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago". Two of the three commissioners at Texas's oil agency are skeptical of a plan now being weighed to curtail crude production in the state in an effort to balance global supply with demand and stabilize prices.

According to Daniel Yergin of IHS Markit, the fact that Trump's intervention is on the table is a sign of how dire the situation is for the industry.

The US Government has already moved to shore up the industry.

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The department said in a statement on its website it will buy a total of 77 million barrels from American producers, kicking off with an initial purchase of 30 million barrels. The expert adds that he can't afford to lose votes due to failing oil companies and temporary economic woes due to the coronavirus.

Widdershoven, on the contrary, advises POTUS against intervening in the Russia-Saudi-UAE negotiations on oil that he is confident are secretly ongoing. Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, said Friday that global demand could fall by 10 percent or more.

The view of Goldman Sachs is that a return to production cuts would help bolster the U.S. shale sector, but may ultimately prove damaging to Trump, because it would lead to a rise in prices at the pumps.

"They're in a fight on price, they're in a fight on output, and at the appropriate time, I'll get involved", President Trump told reporters at a White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon.

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