Saudi Arabia raised oil output by around 500,000 bpd in June

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

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

USA crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3 million-barrel build in crude inventories.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted by the oil ministry's website Thursday as telling Trump to "please stop", adding that "with your frequent and indecent tweets oil prices have gone up 10 dollars".

Renewed U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil appear set to tighten supplies further.

US crude futures dropped 90 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $73.22 per barrel as of 11:18 a.m. EST (1518 GMT).

Oil prices have been rocked by recent comments from US President Donald Trump.

"Further declines in U.S. crude oil inventories and the significant outage in Libyan oil supply are helping to keep a floor under the market", said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London.

Maisie Williams says goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’ with bloody photo
Maisie Williams is saying goodbye to her role of Arya Stark and the series Game of Thrones , which recently wrapped filming. In an Instagram photo , only her shins and feet are shown and the shoes she is wearing are covered in blood.

Saudi Arabia had political reasons to respond positively to Trump's request, given its animosity to arch-rival Iran, which Trump is trying to bring to its knees through strict new sanctions. The contract added 20 cents on Tuesday, and there was no settlement Wednesday due to the U.S. holiday. The global benchmark traded at a US$6.11 premium to WTI for the same month.

According to analysts, escalating tensions between China and the USA, with the two largest economies in the world implementing tariffs $34 billion on their respective imports and the threat of more action, could weigh on crude prices and soften demand expectations. Analysts had expected a 3.5 million-barrel draw.

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. This must be a two way street.

"These days... the price is dependent on the behaviour of Mr. Trump", Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on state television. Brent crude lost 38 cents to $77.84 a barrel.

Meanwhile, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday the United States is "opening fire on the entire world", warning that Washington's proposed tariffs on Chinese goods will hit global supply chains.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in U.S. gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

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