Oil prices rise amid drop in United States stockpiles, supply worries

Oil prices fall amid surprise growth in U.S. crude stocks

Trump Presses OPEC to Reduce Prices as Crude Trades Near $80

Trump said: "We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices".

Opec members and other producers, including Russian Federation, meet Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset the loss of Iranian barrels, Reuters reported.

U.S. crude futures were up $1.08 at $70.93 a barrel by 11:15 a.m. [1515 GMT], after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude and gasoline stockpiles fell last week.

Reuters reported that traders and investors have loaded up on bullish Brent oil bets this week, after signals that Saudi Arabia is in no rush to increase production, even with the price near Dollars 80 and as buyers grow uneasy over the impact of USA sanctions on Iranian supply. For East Coast refineries, the price difference between the global benchmark Brent and the domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) helps determine when the additional costs of acquiring and transporting domestic crude oil to the East Coast can be overcome.

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Trump's tweet comes about two months after a similar tweet in July, in which he also called OPEC a monopoly and tacitly threatened to withdraw U.S. support.

US President Donald Trump increased pressure on Opec on Thursday, calling on the organisation to "get prices down now". "We will remember", Trump tweeted.

In recent conversations with investors, traders and other market participants in London, Houston and Washington, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih and other senior officials from the kingdom signaled caution about further boosting output, the people said.

Aside from the presidential tweets, pressure has been mounting on OPEC to increase production ahead of United States sanctions against Iran, which come into effect in November. High oil prices have pulled up the domestic oil price in the U.S. "The producers that count are producing at will" and Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are likely to boost output further, he said. US sanctions were imposed by Trump in response to Iran's nuclear programme.

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US sanctions affecting Iran's oil exports come into force on November 4 and many buyers have already scaled back Iranian purchases.

Brent has been trading below the psychologically important $80 level for the last week but could now move higher, Reuters markets analyst Wang Tao said.

"Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above", said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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