Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production

American crude price jumps to four-year high on massive US inventory draw Jason Redmond Reuters
Orlando Vargas | 02 July, 2018, 23:30

On Saturday, Trump said that he spoke to the Saudi king about the need to increase Saudi Arabia's oil production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" due to unstable situation in Iran and Venezuela, stressing that the Saudi leader agreed with the proposal. "Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries led by Saudi Arabia and its allies including Russian Federation agreed to boost oil supplies". Trump made the original request because, he said, oil prices are too high.

"The Trump support base is probably the part of the USA electorate that will be the most sensitive to an increase in US gasoline prices", Halff said.

Following a consolidation phase during the first half of the day, crude oil extended its rally in the NA session with the barrel of West Texas Intermediate rising above $74 for the first time since November 2014. South Korea accounted for 14 percent of Iran's oil exports past year, according to the United States energy department.

At least one Japanese refiner has been assessing U.S. Mars crude as a potential replacement for Iranian crude as the company plans to cut Iran loadings after September as U.S. sanctions are reinstated, said a source with knowledge of the matter.

The ministers announced they would ramp up oil production by around one million barrels a day from July.

Saudi Arabia has the capacity to pump a maximum of 12.04 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency.

Opec producers and Russian Federation agreed to increase production but oil markets did not respond.

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Helping driving prices higher is President Trump and his administration who has been warning countries no to go on using crude from Iran (China will ignore than).

Oil prices have edged higher in recent months, as the Trump administration has pushed allies to end all purchases of oil from Iran following the U.S. pulling out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, with ongoing unrest in Venezuela, as well as with fighting in Libya over control of that country's oil infrastructure.

Interestingly the EIA production data has shown no increase for U.S. crude output for three weeks now at 10.9 million barrels a day. "He has agreed!" Trump tweeted early on Saturday. The US, which last month pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal and said sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran within 180 days, has threatened to cut off access to the American banking system for foreign financial institutions that trade with Iran.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities.

Many major buyers of Iranian oil, including Japan, India and South Korea, have already indicated that they would stop importing Iranian crude unless they get an exemption on the sanctions by Washington. John Browne, former BP chief executive and current chairman of L1 Energy Holdings, anticipated a drop of as much as 1.5 million bpd.

Oil demand has been chasing records for most of the year, and OPEC has said it will raise output in order to meet demand and replace crude from unplanned disruptions. "This was managed between the two to rob the pocket of rest of the world", he said.

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