Iran oil minister: No change in production, export

President Rouhani talks to Iranian expatriates in Bern Switzerland

President Rouhani talks to Iranian expatriates in Bern Switzerland

Recent price rises have also been spurred by the US announcement it plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran beginning November 4, targeting oil exports.

"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.

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.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $73.98 per barrel.

Oil earlier traded near its highest in 3-½ years Thursday, boosted by potential disruptions to flows from Iran and the Middle East despite a new demand from U.S. President Trump, via Twitter, that OPEC cut prices.

Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher, and urged Saudi Arabia to pump more if it wanted Washington to continue protecting it against its top rival Iran. This must be a two way street.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 19 cents at $77.20 a barrel by 0910 GMT.

"Trump's order to OPEC members to increase production is a great insult to those governments and nations, and destabilises the market".

The comments this morning follow on from yesterday's news that Saudi Arabia raised oil output by about 500,000 barrels per day in June.

Output cuts by OPEC and allies since January 2017 have reduced a crude glut.

To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July.

OPEC and Russian Federation announced in June they were willing to raise output to address concerns of emerging supply shortages due to unplanned disruptions from Venezuela to Libya, and likely also to replace a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to USA sanctions.

On Wednesday, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said Tehran might block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz. "A blockade of this transport route would thus have dramatic consequences for global oil supply and an impact on prices that is nearly impossible to put into figures".

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