Oil prices reach four-year high as OPEC defies Trump

Oil prices reach four-year high as OPEC defies Trump
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Oil prices hit a new four-year high on Tuesday after OPEC dismissed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE's calls to increase supply and lower prices.

The global benchmark for fuel prices, Brent crude, rose 1 percent to $81.31 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, The Wall Street Journal reports. Light, sweet crude rose to $72.46 a barrel.

OPEC has dismissed Trump's calls to increase production.

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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, whose country is a leader of OPEC , said Sunday that the group could produce 1.5 million more barrels per day, but the market did not warrant that increase.

"The markets are adequately supplied," Falih said Sunday, according to Reuters. "I don't know of any refiner in the world who is looking for oil and is not able to get it."

 

Trump has gone after OPEC for high oil prices for months.

He repeated those calls Thursday and suggested that U.S. military assistance may be contingent on them boosting supply.

According to CNN, Trump went after the group again on Tuesday, saying at the U.N. that "OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world. And I don't like it. Nobody should like it."

"We defend many of these nations for nothing and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices," he added.

OPEC holds 40 percent of the market share on crude oil, according to Forbes, and has long used their power to control oil prices. 

OPEC and 10 other outside countries led by Russia agreed in 2016 to keep supply down to 1.8 million barrels a day starting in January 2017, according to the Journal.

However, Saudi Arabia cut its own supply still further as other OPEC members - namely Iran and Venezuela - experienced production problems.

Updated at 2 p.m.