Oil falls towards $77 a barrel due to higher Saudi production

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Oil prices fell on Thursday after US President Donald Trump sent a tweet demanding that OPEC reduce prices for crude, Reuters reported.

Canadian oil prices are poised to continue their slow, steady march upward next year as shipping bottlenecks ease and U.S. refiners look north to fill the gap created by decreasing output from Venezuela, according to Deloitte.

Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher, and urged Saudi Arabia to pump more if it wanted Washington to continue protecting it against Iran. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s. This must be a two way street.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $74.60 a barrel at 0044 GMT, up 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.

"On the bearish side both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are living up to their promise to increase output", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

Output cuts by OPEC and allies since January 2017 have reduced a crude glut.

Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters that Trump "should have expected" when blocking Iran's access to the global markets that it would end up as "hostage (to) Saudi Arabia and Russia", who he said had little vested interest in bringing down prices.

Saudi Arabia's objective, revealed at the OPEC meeting in June, has been to stabilise production and prices around current levels.

In the wake of threats from the United States (US) to reduce its oil revenue to zero, Iran has flouted plans of purchasing goods only from countries that import its oil.

Zanganeh added that neither Iranian oil production nor its exports had changed as a result of USA pressure.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output totaling 1.8 million barrels per day (MMBPD) in January 2017, to prop up the market.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, meanwhile, said Wednesday Tehran might block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a major route for transporting crude in the Arabian Gulf.

A blockade of the strait, through which roughly 30 per cent of all seaborne oil travels, would have "dramatic consequences for global oil supply and an impact on prices that is nearly impossible to put into figures", Commerzbank said in a note.

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