Trump Accuses OPEC of Artificially Raising Oil Prices

President Donald Trump accused OPEC, in an early Friday morning tweet, of artificially raising prices of oil at a time when the resource is plentiful.

In his tweet against the alliance of oil-producing countries, Trump warned that the U.S. “will not” accept artificial price controls from OPEC, which represents 14 of the world’s leading oil producers.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

The prices for Texas-based WTI crude oil were drastically raised over a short period of time which became a three-year record high at $69 a barrel this week, while the international benchmark of Brent crude oil sat at $73 on Friday after hitting a four-year high this week.

Meanwhile, in a statement to CNBC, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih responded directly to Trump’s tweet, telling the media network that “markets should determine price.”

According to CNBC, Saudi Arabia has an economic plan that has the target to see oil prices rise to nearly $100 a barrel in order to support the initial public offering of its state oil company, Saudi Aramco.

However, according to U.S. law, President Trump is the one that controls the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a supply of domestic U.S. oil that can be released to be sold overseas by the government but only if high oil prices are achieved or if there is emergency need of funds in the budget.

The last time the reserve was sold at high prices was in 2011 when during the Libyan Civil War the military unrest in the region led to a drastic decrease in oil production.

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