Oil prices surge to near four-year high

Crude prices are spiking

Oil prices at highest levels in 4 years

With Brent crude already jumping to an nearly four-year high on Monday, that's exactly the kind of price surge President Donald Trump has been seeking to prevent by pressuring the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise production.

Zangeneh also welcomed the outcome of a meeting Sunday between OPEC members and the cartel's allies, which ended without any decision to further increase oil output despite Trump's call for lower prices.

Such a price rally would mark the first time since the summer of 2014 that oil would return to the $100-a-barrel level that became the norm in the early part of this decade.

In response to Trump's remarks, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al Falih told CNBC: "That is of course not true, we have been looking at more important aspects which is adequacy of supply".

OPEC in December 2016 concluded an agreement with non-member states - including Russian Federation - to reduce output in order to arrest sliding prices.

The United States from November will target Iran's oil exports with sanctions, and Washington is putting pressure on governments and companies around the world to fall in line and cut purchases from Tehran.

Prior to the US sanctions threat, Seoul imported 180,000 barrels per day of Iran's crude oil, according to the report.

Iran's Ministry of Petroleum confirmed on Sunday that South Korea has halted oil imports from the Islamic republic. Yet the cartel and its allies gave mixed signals at a meeting in Algiers on Sunday, ultimately showing little sign they would heed USA demands to rapidly push down crude prices.

"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!" he tweeted on Thursday.

The benchmark Brent contract later stood at $80.85, up $2.05 from Friday's close.

"The biggest issue is not with the producing countries, it's with the refiners, it's with the demand".

"It's a time of great uncertainty in oil markets, from Iranian output post-sanctions to the global economy and demand", said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University in NY and a former Obama administration oil official. However, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation now say they have no more capacity.

If Brent prices climb past $US82 a barrel, he said prices up to $US90 would be a near-term possibility.

The market was "increasingly concerned about dwindling (U.S.) inventories", ANZ bank said on Monday.

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