Trump asked Saudi Arabia to boost its oil production by 2M barrels

Trump asked Saudi Arabia to boost its oil production by 2M barrels

Trump says on Twitter Saturday that he asked Salman to increase oil production "to make up the difference..."

The US President Donald Trump on Saturday posted a tweet saying Saudi Arabia agreed to boost oil production by up to 2 million barrels per day, twice the nominal amount Opec and non-Opec allies signed off on at last week's meeting in Vienna.

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.

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.

The Saudi Press Agency confirmed that President Trump and King Salman had spoken by phone, giving few details.

"During the call, the two leaders stressed the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets and the growth of the global economy", said the statement as quoted in the report. It did not elaborate.

This is while world oil prices have climbed higher as the Trump administration has pressured USA allies to end all purchases of oil from Iran.

Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was trading around $79 a barrel on Friday, and a Reuters poll showed prices look to remain strong for the rest of this year due to supply disruptions in countries including Libya and Venezuela and as the extra oil from OPEC fails to meet rising demand.

However, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told journalists in India on Monday that the state oil company has spare capacity of 2 million barrels of oil per day.

Earlier that day, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry and President of the Opec Conference, said fluctuations in oil prices do not serve producers or consumers.

Trump was vague about whether the two-million-barrel increase would be per day.

Oil prices have spiked in the past week, and on Thursday crude rose above $74 a barrel for the first time since late 2014.

Turmoil has surrounded Iran after Trump announced the USA was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, and has since urged allies to stop buying oil from the country.

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 global nuclear deal with Tehran.

Trump was not specific on whether the additional 2 million barrels was a per-day figure - but worldwide daily demand is nearing 100 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud talks during the opening of 29th Arab Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia April 15, 2018.

China is the largest importer of Iranian oil with 24 per cent, followed by India with 18 per cent. Turkey stood at nine per cent and Italy at seven per cent.

South Korea accounted for 14 percent of Iran's oil exports a year ago, according to the US Energy Department. Turkey stood at 9 percent and Italy at 7 percent.

"If they do, it means the State Department is running OPEC".

Meanwhile, Leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei slammed all-out United States economic and political measures against Tehran in a Saturday address, describing them as futile efforts to turn Iranians against the Islamic Republic.

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