Exclusive: Don’t mention the oil price – U.S. legal threat prompts change at OPEC

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – OPEC has urged its members not to mention oil prices when discussing policy in a break from the past, as the oil producing group seeks to avoid the risk of U.S. legal action for manipulating the market, sources close to OPEC said. Proposed U.S. legislation known as “NOPEC”, which could open the group up to anti-trust lawsuits, has long lain dormant, with previous American presidents signaling that they would veto any move to make it law. But U.S. President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, blaming it for high oil prices and urging it to increase output to relieve pressure on a market hovering around four-year highs. That has made OPEC and its unofficial leader, Saudi Arabia, nervous about what it might mean for NOPEC, or No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act. The decision to refrain from discussing a preferred oil price level — one way the group can guide market expectations — underlines how Trump’s aggressive stance on the oil market is unsettling OPEC and testing ties between allies Riyadh and Washington. In July, senior OPEC officials attended a workshop in Vienna with international law firm… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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