While OPEC is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's sanctions on group members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainties, just as United States tariffs on Chinese goods kick in on Friday.
- With concerns persisting about oil flows from Iran, further strength can not be ruled out. On Wednesday, he accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of driving up fuel prices.
"Trump's demand that Iranian oil should not be bought, and (his) pressures on European firms at a time when Nigeria and Libya are in crisis, when Venezuela's oil exports have fallen due to United States sanctions, when Saudi's domestic consumption has increased in summer, is nothing but a self harm", he was quoted as saying by Reuters. "When presidents are in disfavor, the high gasoline price only adds to that".
A U.S. government report on crude stockpiles rising 1.3 million barrels showing unexpectedly ample supplies after analysts had forecast a decline also weighed on prices this week.
Motorists in California are now paying an average of $3.66 a gallon for regular and $3.92 for premium.
Last month, members of OPEC agreed to pump an additional 1 million barrels of crude daily, a move that should help contain prices.
USA crude futures gained 86 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $73.80 a barrel.
Beginning midnight Washington time on Friday, the USA imposed new tariffs on US$34 billion worth of annual imports from China, to which Beijing responded by saying that it was imposing tariffs on USA goods.
"You are hammering on good guys in OPEC", Kazempour said.
Those other factors have not only driven up oil prices this year, they've also increased gasoline prices.
According to a survey carried out by Reuters, Saudi Arabia has boosted supply to 10.7 million barrels per day in June and just 200,000 away from its record high.
Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted by the oil ministry's website Thursday as telling Trump to "please stop", adding that "with your frequent and indecent tweets oil prices have gone up 10 dollars".
U.S. West Texas Intermediate and global benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading lower early Thursday and for the week after President Trump turned up the heat on OPEC to reduce prices for crude. Without specifying a number, the official press agency said the kingdom would do what is necessary to balance oil prices. Premier Wen Jiaobao of China proposed creating a counter-cartel in 2012, but other importers, including Europe and the USA, didn't seem interested. Venezuelan production has decreased day after day, reaching a 30 year low of only 1.5 million barrels per day. "You impose sanctions on major producers, founders of OPEC, and yet you are asking them to reduce prices?!" The only problem is that only four countries-Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE have the capacity to boost production.