Scott D. Sheffield, president of Pioneer Natural Resources, a major oil producer in Texas, said that if there was a significant decrease in Venezuelan and Iranian exports, "and Saudi Arabia does not increase production, let's see $ 100 of oil before the end of the year ".
Only a few years ago, $ 100 per barrel was considered normal. But prices collapsed in 2014, falling in the United States to less than $ 30 at the beginning of 2016, as an excess of oil-filled tankers. Now the big oil producers are looking for a sweet spot for oil prices.
US and world oil prices rose modestly on Wednesday despite criticism from Trump.
Even when he has criticized OPEC, Trump has found an ally in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has long argued against Iran's nuclear agreement, and has pressured the United States to exert more pressure on the Shia Islamic regime. The Saudis are fighting the Houthi rebels supported by Iran in neighboring Yemen and have tried to counter Iranian influence in Syria and elsewhere.
Iran wants higher oil prices, because it needs money to invest in its weakened oil industry and its economy in crisis. But their exports could falter with the return of sanctions that were eliminated under the nuclear agreement. And other members of OPEC will seek to take advantage of Iran's misfortune by selling more oil to large markets such as China and India.
"If they are Saudis, they will want to do Trump a favor and rid him of him," he said. Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting company.
Sadad Ibrahim Al Husseini, former executive vice president of Saudi Aramco, said leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia "will see gradual but steady increases in the general supply, easily between one and 1.2 million barrels per day by the end of the year."
The two countries are likely to pressure other oil producing nations to also increase production, particularly Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, both members of OPEC.