Trump slams OPEC as IEA anticipates near-term oil price relief

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Iran exchanged sharp words over oil prices, with Trump blaming OPEC for high oil prices and Tehran accusing him of stoking volatility after he withdrew last month from a global nuclear arms deal with Iran.

Most of the other OPEC nations are reportedly upset with Saudi Arabia for not consulting them prior to such comments and hints, and most of the OPEC members-excluding the Saudis and some of its Gulf allies (Kuwait, the UAE)-will not be able to lift production significantly in order to offset lower oil prices. Crude inventories fell by 4.1 million barrels in the week to June 8, exceeding analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. "Put the exports of crude on top of that, and it's just a really bullish report". "Not good!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday after last raising the issue in April.

Since early 2017, OPEC and other oil-producing countries have agreed to reduce supply in a bid to bolster oil prices.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares closed down 1.1% at 81.51 on the stock market today.

The agency is forecasting global oil demand will grow by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 - topping 100 million bpd in the second quarter of the year. "The boom in U.S. oil and gas production gives us greater leverage against Opec", an official said.

The EIA boosted its Brent estimate for both this year and next. "It is possible that the very small number of countries with spare capacity beyond what can be activated quickly will have to go the extra mile".

Earlier in the session, Brent and US crude futures had retreated on concerns about rising production in the United States and expectations that OPEC and other producers could relax voluntary output cuts when they meet on June 22-23 in Vienna.

Pumped further by global trade war fears, oil prices have since surged to multi-year highs, only to then fall back again somewhat, the IEA said.

OPEC itself spotlighted U.S. output in its own monthly report on Tuesday, citing the growth of non-OPEC supply as one of several question marks hanging over the situation.

Citing "people briefed on the discussions", Bloomberg on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia had floated several oil output hike plans to fellow cartel members.

Various sources show that "considerable uncertainty as to world oil demand and non-OPEC supply prevails", OPEC said, leading to a wide range of estimates for the remainder of 2018.

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