Trump’s pressure tweets add $10 to crude oil prices- OPEC boss

U.S. President Donald Trump, who called on OPEC producers to reduce oil prices, has caused prices to rise through his tweets, Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili has said. “Your tweets have increased the prices by at least 10 dollars. Please stop this method,” the oil ministry news agency quoted Kazempour Ardebili as saying. Ardebili said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and he called on the United States to join world powers in a meeting with Iran in Vienna on Friday. Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers will meet Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss how to keep the accord alive after the U.S. withdrawal from the pact.

However , U.S. President Donald Trump has again accused the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving gasoline prices higher and urged the oil producer group to do more. “The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Republican president has lashed out at OPEC in recent weeks. Rising gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump before November mid-term congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the U.S. economy. In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to 2 million barrels, an assertion that the White House rowed back on in a subsequent statement.

The leader of Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, has assured Trump that the kingdom can raise oil production if needed and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran. Trump has been complaining about OPEC at the same time that Washington is piling pressure on its European allies to stop buying Iranian oil.

Meanwhile Royal Dutch Shell’s boss said it would be “foolhardy” for the oil and gas producer to set hard targets to reduce carbon emissions as it risked exposing the energy giant to legal challenges. The energy industry has struggled in recent years to find a clear path to secure its role as the world shifts from fossil fuels in order to meet the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals. Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden last year set out ambitions to halve its carbon emissions by 2050, far exceeding rivals. But the Dutch CEO resisted calls by activists and some investors to set binding targets. “It would be somewhat foolhardy to put ourselves in a legal bind by saying these are the targets we will adopt,” van Beurden said at a company event. Before we put ourselves at the mercy of a legal challenge, I want to make sure we are doing the right thing first.”

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