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Brent crude hit $79.82 per barrel in the USA trade on Monday, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gained 1.2 percent to touch $71.60 a barrel.

The United States has sent mixed messages to OPEC and its allies over the last week about whether they need to do more to raise oil production and hold down prices.

Brent futures were trading at $80.48 a barrel at noon Monday, up $2.24.

"The minister said that Saudi Arabia could raise output by 1.5 million barrels a day if necessary". This report drew criticism from President Trump who called for the cartel and other non-OPEC members to increase production.

Meanwhile, the risk of escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China could weigh on oil prices, with no improvement in relations between the two rivals in sight.

The Trump administration has told countries like China, India and Turkey to cut all imports of Iranian oil by November 4 when the U.S. re-imposes sanctions against Tehran. Brent rose on Tuesday to its highest since November 2014 at $82.55 per barrel.

OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and its biggest oil-producer ally outside the group, Russia, effectively rebuffed Trump's demand to lower prices on Sunday and failed to provide answers on how they would counter falling supplies from Iran. This time, the deepening trade war between the US and China threatens economic growth in Asia and turmoil in emerging countries could amplify the impact of higher prices on global demand growth.


As such, production problems in some countries have pushed the oil producer's alliance to cut output further than intended, helping to boost prices. The choking of the flow of oil from Iran comes at a time when threats of supply disruptions in Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria have increased as well.

"Our plan is to meet demand", said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih.

According to analysts from Energy Aspects, the meeting on Sunday could lead to an increase in production, "but the market starts to ask where could well come in these barrels". However, analysts say that it is unlikely that the Kingdom will manage to bring this production to market quickly enough, and it will have difficulties in maintaining that level of production.

Major Middle Eastern crude producers could revive their market share in Asia as the OPEC/non-OPEC output cut agreement officially ends later this year, but Asian refiners may end up paying higher prices as overall Persian Gulf supplies are expected to remain tight because of uncertainties surrounding Iran, industry executives and trade sources said Monday.

Also Sunday, OPEC released its World Oil Outlook 2040 report.

Of course, the OPEC member most eager to take a stab at Trump was Iran, and Hossein Kazempour, OPEC representative for the Islamic Republic, did so by telling media that the brash billion aires incendiary tweets "are doing actually is [leading to] higher prices because the fundamentals even do not warrant this level of prices".


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