Trump urges Saudis to raise oil output 'by two million barrels'

Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production | TheHill

Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production | TheHill

Saudi Arabia says that King Salman has spoken to President Donald Trump, but gave no mention of the 2 million barrels of extra production the American leader tweeted about earlier in the day.

A little over an hour later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on the call, but offered few details.

They also discussed "efforts of the producing countries to cover any possible shortage in supplies", the agency said in its brief report. It did not elaborate.

Mr Trump tweeted yesterday: "Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference".

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction [sic] in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference", the USA president wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

In a morning tweet from his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said he made the request during a conversation with Salman, citing the "turmoil" and dysfunction in Venezuela and Iran for driving up prices at the pump. That would likely drive oil prices even higher.

U.S. President Donald Trump has faulted the rising global oil prices, calling on Saudi Arabia to jerk up production to crash the high prices. According to Bloomberg, Saudi state media have confirmed a phone call between Trump and King Salman took place, but have not confirmed any agreement on production increases.

The development comes days after Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, agreed to go all in with production. Saudi oil officials did not immediately comment.

Continuing increases came despite the decision last week by OPEC and its allies to increase production by as much as 1 million barrels per day. Venezuela's production has fallen to 1.4 million barrels a day, about a million barrels a day less than it produced two years ago. That was after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom would honour the OPEC decision to stick to a one-million-barrel increase. Iran has accused Trump of trying to politicize OPEC and said it was U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela that helped push up prices.

"We will be in uncharted territory", Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects in London, said.

Iran opposed any changes to the original production-cut deal at a time when its oil industry is facing renewed sanctions over Trump's decision to quit the worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran.

Washington said last week it was asking customers in Asia and Europe to reduce Iranian oil purchases to zero from November, and that it will not grant any waivers to sanctions.

As Tehran seeks ways to counter USA sanctions that would restrict its exports and eat into its market share, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh wrote to his UAE counterpart, Suhail al-Mazrouei, who holds the OPEC presidency in 2018, urging him to remind OPEC members to adhere to last month's agreement. The State Department is now insisting that other countries stop importing Iranian oil - or face sanctions from Washington.

Mr Trump past year chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip.

Iran's rial currency has lost up to 40 per cent of its value since last month, when Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal.

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