Oil up on supply concerns ahead of OPEC meeting

President Trump demanded Thursday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries immediately work to lower oil prices.

'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! US crude oil accounted for 19 percent of total East Coast crude inputs for the first half of 2018, compared with 48 percent in the same period of 2015, when the Brent-WTI price spread also averaged $5 per barrel.

Two of OPEC's founding members, Iran and Venezuela, are under sanctions from Washington.

Incumbents who face challengers in the upcoming US mid-term elections have reasons to want oil prices - and in turn, gasoline prices at the pump - to be lower this fall, too. We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!' Trump wrote in his latest volley on Twitter.

Jason Gammel, analyst at US bank Jefferies, said he expects Saudi Arabia to try to keep the oil market adequately supplied into 2019, "but at the cost of spare capacity", a key supply buffer to prevent oil price volatility.

Prices at the pump have creeped upward since Trump took office, with the average price for all grades climbing from $2.45 in January 2017 to $2.67 a year later and to $2.91 in August, down from a 2018 high of $2.98 in May, the start of the summer travel season, according to government data.

Rising U.S. gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump before November congressional elections by offsetting Republican tax cuts. They also don't want oil prices to fall too much'.

Under pressure from the US president, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other allies agreed in June to boost production by 1 million barrels per day, having participated in a supply-cutting deal since 2017.

OPEC meets on Sunday in Algeria, but the discussion is slated to revolve around current output production levels, and making sure all participants are still on board with things as they now are.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 13 cents at $78.83 a barrel by 11:27 a.m. EDT (1527 GMT) after earlier touching a session high of $80.12.

After languishing at less than 6million barrels of oil per month between 2000 and 2011, American oil production began rapidly increasing from 2012 onwards.