Trump eyes oil prices: ‘OPEC is at it again’

"Not good!" the president said.

"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the U.S. and European oil futures contracts.

In terms of supply, two big variables are Venezuela and Iran.

Oil prices have risen about 60 percent since a year ago after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers, including Russian Federation, began reducing output to cut excess supply, Reuters reported.

For 2019, IEA's estimate of demand anticipates growth of 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, amid a boost from the petrochemicals sector, where some projects are coming on stream earlier than previously thought.

"To make up for the losses, we estimate that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 mb/d and there could be more output from Russian Federation on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non-OPEC supply numbers", the IEA said.

US ally Saudi Arabia remains OPEC's most powerful member - with enough production capacity to manipulate global supplies.

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

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Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Moscow tomorrow to discuss oil policy on the sidelines of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup.

Trump's complaints about OPEC come amid expectations of a more costly U.S. summer driving season. Prices have risen around 60 percent over the a year ago.

The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices.

Since early 2017, OPEC and other oil-producing countries have agreed to reduce supply in a bid to bolster oil prices. Instead of getting a discount for bulk purchases, West Asian producers such as Saudi Arabia, charge a so-called "Asian Premium" for shipments to Asian buyers, including India and Japan, as opposed to Europe.

But Matt Smith, director of research at ClipperData, said Trump himself is responsible for some of the pressure due to the decision to exit the Iran deal.

Traders are holding their breath for the June 22 meeting of oil ministers from Opec member states in Vienna.

Crude stockpiles fell by 4.1 million, and gasoline supplies fell by 2.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.

This could lead to a supply gap in crude late next year if OPEC can't make up for lost production, the IEA said in its monthly report Wednesday.

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