Iran says Trump pressing oil majors to raise output

Oil price up as Trump calls OPEC to lower prices

Saudi energy minister rips Trump tweet: 'I do not influence oil prices'

Iran appeared on Sunday to soften its stance on potential increases in OPEC oil output, saying it was the group's responsibility to balance the market if production from Iran or any other member declined.

Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Mr Trump to repeat his demands for Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to take action to lower prices.

A mid-term report released by OPEC on Sunday forecast that non-OPEC supply from countries led by the United States would rise by 2.4 million bpd in 2019 while global oil demand should grow by just 1.5 million.

In a similar gesture in July, the USA president had accused OPEC of driving fuel prices higher and called on the U.S. allies inside the Organization including Saudi Arabia to pump more if they wanted Washington to continue protecting them against Iran.

The price rise is notably caused by a recent drop in Iran's supply because of US sanctions.

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The OPEC cartel in December 2016 concluded an agreement with non-member states - including Russian Federation - to reduce output in order to arrest sliding prices.

Ahead of Sunday's meeting, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al Falih maintained, while speaking to reporters, that the "markets are adequately supplied", insisting that OPEC does not control oil prices. "Markets are quite balanced today, there's plenty of supply to meet any customer that needs it".

The Opec oil cartel raised its global production forecast on Sunday based on higher-than-predicted United States output in a report outlining a long-term rise in net demand, particularly in developing countries.

The cartel says that China and India will drive growth in energy demand through 2040, and that oil will continue to remain the biggest source of energy despite a global push for cleaner resources. "I don't know of any refiner in the world who is looking for oil and is not able to get it", Falih said, adding that Saudi Arabia could raise output by up to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) if needed.

The U.S., which isn't an OPEC member and has in recent years seen a renewed boom in shale oil, will continue to grow as a crude producer, peaking in the late 2020s.

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