U.S. President Donald Trump is welcome to join a dialogue on balancing the global oil market, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo told Reuters on Wednesday.
Asked to comment on President Trump’s latest criticism of OPEC’s production cut policy, Barkindo told Reuters on the sidelines of an oil industry event in Riyadh that the United States, in its capacity of the world’s top oil producer, has a strategic stake in global supply and demand.
On Monday, oil prices turned sharply lower after President Trump took to Twitter again to criticize OPEC and the high oil prices. President Trump tweeted: “Oil prices getting too high. OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”
Before Monday’s tweet, President Trump hadn’t tweeted about OPEC this year, after expressing hopes at the end of November that the Saudis and OPEC would not be cutting production again.
OPEC and allies, however, agreed in early December to a new production cut deal for six months through June, with an option to review in April.
After several heavy sell-offs in the fourth quarter last year, oil prices have regained some 20 percent so far in 2019, boosted by the cuts, but also by the U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and more recently, by hopes that the U.S. and China might reach a trade deal.
While OPEC and its Russia-led allies have been looking for two years now at supply and demand and adjusting production to avoid a glut similar to the one that crashed oil prices in 2014, U.S. shale has been benefiting from the coordinated OPEC+ market action and the increase in oil prices over the past two years. Producers have been pumping record amounts of crude oil in the United States, which is already the world’s top oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
U.S. crude oil production hit a record 12 million bpd in the week ending February 15, rising by 100,000 bpd from 11.9 million bpd in the previous week, EIA data showed last week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com