Saudi King Said Will Boost Oil Output If Needed, Says White House

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman had agreed to his request to increase oil production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" to offset a decline in supplies from Iran and Venezuela. 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.

He did not specify if the figure was barrels per day (bpd).

Saudi Arabia's official government press agency gave a more ambiguous description of the king's discussion with Trump.

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. That would be roughly 1 million barrels per day of crude oil output increase according to OPEC officials.

Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised Opec even though U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is a core member.

Saudi Arabia's pledge followed a meeting earlier this month in Vienna of OPEC members, Russian Federation and other oil producing countries.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of crude oil, exporting 7 million barrels a day. 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.

There was no immediate acknowledgment from the Saudi Royal Court that the conversation took place.

The president had again blamed OPEC for high global oil prices on June 13. Trump's claim of a 2-million-barrel increase for Saudi Arabia alone does not specify a timeframe.

Last week, OPEC led by Saudi Arabia and its allies including Russian Federation agreed to boost oil supplies after curbing output since 2017 to address a global supply glut.

"President Trump's reckless decision to pull out of the Iran deal has led to higher oil prices", Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said last month during a photo op outside an Exxon station. Prices also have risen with ongoing unrest in Venezuela and fighting in Libya over control of that country's oil infrastructure.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Thursday to discuss energy security.

Oil prices surged again on news that the USA was pressuring its allies not to import oil from Iran, lest they risk sanctions. But oil experts were cautious about whether that would actually reduce worldwide prices or raise anxiety further.

The oil markets were also shaken last week when a senior State Department official said that the United States would ask countries to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil to "zero".

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday accused the United States of trying to turn Iranians against their government.

"They bring to bear economic pressure to separate the nation from the system. but six USA presidents before him tried this and had to give up", Khamenei was quoted as saying on Saturday by his website Khamenei.ir, referring to Trump.

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at OPEC on Twitter in recent months, piling pressure on Riyadh, a major ally, to boost output as he hopes for lower pump prices before midterm congressional elections in November.

"The market will go up to $100 I am sure as Saudi Arabia said they will plan an increase for July ..."

However, investors are betting that Saudi regime "has little room to respond to a future crisis should it boost output even more to meet Trump's request, as Saudi Arabia only has about 2 million barrels of unused capacity", according to International Energy Agency. "This was managed between the two to rob the pocket of rest of the world", he said.

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