Oil prices fell on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed the sale of half the country's strategic oil reserves, even as producer club OPEC and its allies cut output to tighten the market. Laura Frykberg reports
For months, oil producers have been trying push up prices But their efforts have been dashed, by the world's largest holder of oil. The U.S. says it wants to sell half its stockpile - and then drill for even more. A sale President Donald Trump says would initially make the nation 500 million dollars.. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "If they do push all that extra oil out into the market that is going to further undermine OPEC attempts to actually cut supply on their side." For OPEC in particular - the news adds insult to injury. On Monday, its de facto leader said it would extend its output cuts by nine months, in an effort to prop up crude prices, which over the last few years have seen historic lows. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI ENERGY MINISTER KHALID AL-FALIH, SAYING: "All the countries within OPEC which I have talked to want the extension. But the decision will not be finalised until Thursday when they all have to decide whether to sign." All eyes will be on that meeting - to see if Trump's announcement derails their plan. It's already hit prices, with Brent crude dropping at least 21 cents and ending a run of four days of gains. U.S. light crude also dropped 19 cents.