Trump Hasn't Spoken to Anyone at OPEC HQ in Vienna
U.S. President Donald Trump waits to greet Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Trump Hasn't Spoken to Anyone at OPEC HQ in Vienna

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump hasn’t spoken to anyone at OPEC’s headquarters to discuss oil production, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, the president said he had personally pressed OPEC to keep oil prices down. Crude futures fell the most in two months.

“The gasoline prices are coming down," Trump said. “I called up OPEC and said you’ve gotta bring ’em down.”

But Trump hasn’t spoken with officials at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’s secretariat in Vienna, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing the group’s communications. OPEC has a permanent staff in Vienna and holds most ministerial meetings there.

Trump Tweets

Trump may have reached out to individual OPEC members. After briefing reporters, the president said on Twitter he had spoken to Saudi Arabia.

"Spoke to Saudi Arabia and others about increasing oil flow. All are in agreement,” Trump said in a tweet.

In early April, the White House disclosed that Trump held a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Days later, Trump phoned senior officials at the United Arab Emirates.

Dow Jones first reported that Trump hadn’t spoken to OPEC officials.

Crude hit a six-month high this week after the U.S. said it wouldn’t renew waivers allowing China and other major economies to import 1.4 million Iranian barrels a day. The administration said it had an agreement with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to replace supply from Iran.

U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have helped push oil prices up this year, along with orchestrated cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other big producers. That’s started to become apparent for American consumers at the pump, with retail gasoline prices rising 28 percent this year, according to AAA data.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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