Iran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour, says US President Donald Trump is wrong to think that Saudi Arabia and other producers, including Russia, will be able to compensate for millions of barrels of crude taken out of the market as a result of the Trump administration’s re-imposition of sanctions against Iran oil exports. Shana photo. 

Iran oil production amounts to about 3.8 million b/d

Iran’s OPEC governor said on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump is wrong to believe that Saudi Arabia and other crude producers will make up for global crude supply losses after the Trump administration re-imposes sanctions against Iran oil exports.

Hossein Kazempour made the comments after OPEC reported its production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July, according to a Reuters survey. The survey also found that Saudi Arabia’s production did increase, but was offset by a decline in supply from Iran due to looming US sanctions.

“It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters.

“Now they and Russia sell more oil and more expensively. Not even from their incremental production but their stocks.”

Since April, Trump has been tweeting blame on OPEC for rising oil prices.  Kazempour says prices will continue to rise unless Trump grants waivers to Iranian crude buyers.

“They are also calling for the use of the U.S. SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve). This will also mean higher prices. U.S. waivers to our clients if they come is due to the failure of bluffers (Saudi and the other producers) and, if not given, will again push the prices higher,” he said.

“So they hanged him (Trump) on the wall. Now they want to have a mega OPEC, congratulations to President Trump, Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

Kazempour went on to say that “the longer-term solution, Mr President, is to support and facilitate capacity building in all countries, proportionate to their reserves of oil and gas. And we will remain the biggest opportunity”.

OPEC governors represent their countries on the cartel’s board of governors.  They are usually the second most senior person in a country’s OPEC delegation, following the oil minister.