The cost of a barrel of oil fell on Friday after President Donald Trump tweeted that the high crude prices “will not be accepted.”
Prices were on the rise as key officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other non-members including Russia met in Saudi Arabia and recommitted to restricting oil production output for the rest of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The cartel entered into a pact in 2016 to restrict supplies in an effort to drive up prices.
Trump tweeted early Friday morning, “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”
According to the Journal, Brent crude — the global market benchmark — dropped 0.75 percent to $73.23 a barrel following Trump’s announcement, after rising earlier in the day to its highest level in over three years.
Similarly, West Texas Intermediate oil futures fell 0.7 percent to $67.87 per barrel.
“OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel have been holding back oil output by around 1.8 million barrels a day since the start of 2017,” the Journal reported. “The deal is set to expire at the end of this year, but Saudi Arabia has indicated the participants could continue to hold back output into 2019.”
In March, OPEC and its allies achieved 140 percent of their output cutting goal.
Other upward pressures on oil prices include the possible reinstatement of sanctions against Iran and Russia, as well as the steep decline in production from Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih countered Trump’s view that oil prices are artificially high, Bloomberg reported.
“We have seen prices significantly higher in the past, twice as much as where we are today and the global economy has the ability to absorb costlier crude,” Al-Falih said.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to get the cost of a barrel of oil back up to between $80 to $100.
The Trump administration has made increasing oil production in the U.S. a top priority.
It has opened federal lands and offshore locations for exploration, and the tax reform law passed in December approved drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
CNBC reported in January that oil production in the country topped 10 million barrels a day for the first time since 1970 and could surpass 12 million by the end of 2019, which would make the U.S. the top producer in the world.
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