‘Demand Hasn’t Materialized’: OPEC Ignores Trump Demands to Drop Price of Oil

© AP Photo / Hasan JamaliOil production.
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If you can’t get them to keep quiet, ignore them, appears to be the playbook currently in use by OPEC.

Tweets by US President Donald Trump demanding that OPEC boost its oil output as a means of lowering prices worldwide have been met with silence by the global fossil-fuel energy bloc.

Persons stand outside the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 - Sputnik International
OPEC-Non-OPEC Oil Output Cut Deal Compliance at 129% in August

Over the course of a Saturday/Sunday OPEC-non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Algiers, the bloc alluded to Trump's demands without naming names, simply acknowledging that customers have sufficient resources of crude for the present.

OPEC member states including Saudi Arabia, as well as observer nations including Russia, suggested increased oil supplies might be possible at a future date but did not offer a direct response to urgent requests from Trump or his administration to boost supplies — a political play that has served the US president in the past.

"The reason Saudi Arabia didn't increase more is because all of our customers are receiving all of the barrels they want and they're not asking for any more," noted Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Sunday, after meeting with fellow ministers in Algiers.

"The market is reasonably steady and I think we should just be dynamic and responsive and responsible in our actions," the Saudi energy chief added, cited by Bloomberg.

The Algiers JMMC meeting yielded no assurance of an increase in output, although the apparent rebuff to the Trump demands indicates that the US president's desire to bludgeon Iran's economy into submission with sanctions on its oil sales — while concurrently keeping global prices down to please his corporate supporters — will likely fail.

JMMC ministers met in Algiers to review and update global oil data, as disruptions in supply become more frequent and an emerging market crisis — coupled with Trump's China/US tariff battle — weaken crude demand worldwide, increasing the likelihood of higher prices.

Energy analysts note that Trump's desire to bring oil prices down through heavy-handed tactics may likely have the opposite effect, particularly with regard to Tehran.

"OPEC and non-OPEC haven't been able to deliver [lower oil prices]," asserted a spokesperson for consultancy Energy Aspects, who added, "That will only get harder as Iranian exports and production start falling fast," cited by Bloomberg.

The next OPEC ministerial meeting will be in December, at the bloc's Vienna, Austria, headquarters.

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