Trump Says Saudi King Agrees To Boost Oil Production
RFE/RLJune 30, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia's King Salman has told him Riyadh will ramp up oil production in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.
The Saudi government confirmed the two leaders had spoken about global oil markets, but made no mention of any agreement for Riyadh to increase production.
The June 30 conversation comes as oil prices have ticked upward following Trump administration pressure on allies to stop buying oil from Iran.
In a post to Twitter, Trump said Salman had agreed to an increase, but did not indicate a time frame for the possible 2 million barrels.
"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil and 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," Trump said in a June 30 tweet.
Trump added: "Prices to high! He has agreed!"
A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency said: "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."
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earlier this month agreed with Russia, Kazakhstan, and other oil-producing nations to boost production by 1 million barrels a day beginning in July.
The vague OPEC statement came amid deep disagreements between OPEC archrivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is opposed to increasing global oil production.
Washington and Beijing have urged oil-producing countries to release more supply to head off an oil deficit that could hamper economic growth worldwide.
But countries like Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela said they were unable to raise output soon and their share would be unfairly reallocated to other producers.
With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and Bloomberg
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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