Lower oil prices or we will not ‘defend’ you

Help for Motorists Is Coming as Crude-oil Prices Drop Sharply

Global outages overshadow underwhelming OPEC output hike

Also, President Trump once again took to Twitter to call out the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the high oil prices.

Oil prices climbed down from their 3 ½ year high to reach US$73 per barrel, with Brent trading at US$76.96 Tuesday afternoon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now around $74 a barrel.

While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, U.S. sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike. The International Energy Agency estimates OPEC's spare capacity could fall in to around 2.5 mbpd (excluding Iran) - by the first half of 2019, its lowest level since the end of 2016 when record production from the Middle East reduced spare capacity to around 1.9 million bpd.

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

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Brent crude declined from its $115 per barrel peak in June 2014 to below $30 in January 2016 before recovering to its current price of around $78.

An oil pump jack is seen at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., May 3, 2017.

In addition to pressing Saudi Arabia to pump as much as 2mmb/d more to an unprecedented 12mmb/d, an amount many doubt the Saudi can maintain for an extended period of time - think Tesla making Model 3s - the Trump administration has also been pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November when the United States re-imposes sanctions against Tehran, after Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six major powers.

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction (sic) in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference..."

The Saudis have increased oil production, following an OPEC meeting last month, but it hasn't been enough to overcome the effects of reduced supplies from other producers.

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The OPEC Basket price per barrel of crude oil is about $74.

"With Trump not backing off on Iran sanctions, lot of geopolitical risk is there on crude oil and 1mpbd of Iranian crude oil production could be lost to the market".

"As a result, American consumers would have to pay the price of Trump's unilateralism at gas stations".

"If they want to stop Iranian oil exports, we will not allow any oil shipment to pass through the Strait of Hormuz", Ismail Kowsari was quoted as saying.

The development came days after the oil-rich Persian Gulf state, which is the world's largest oil exporter, agreed to substantially raise production.

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