Monday, 23 July, 2018

Trump Says Saudis Must Compensate For Drop In Iran Oil Supply

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Orlando Vargas | 03 July, 2018, 15:39

"Prices too high! He has agreed!", Trump added.

"He has agreed!", though statements from Saudi media have made no mention of an agreement to raise Saudi oil production.

Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, told a news conference that the US goal was to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports.

Rising gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump ahead of the November elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the economy.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies on June 23 to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost, but giving no specific numbers.

The fall came as the Russian Energy Ministry said on Monday that the country's oil output increased to 11.06 million barrels per day in June from 10.97 million barrels per day in May. Dubai also is the U.S. Navy's busiest port of call overseas.

Earlier this year, to the chagrin of European partners, Trump said he would pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement secured by world powers.

"We're not granting waivers", the official said.

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"Don't forget the one negative to the Iran deal is that you lose a lot of oil, and they got to make up for it".

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue on crude-oil sales", Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, said at a briefing.

"Our attempt is to defeat USA policies in the sale of oil and we are pretty sure we will sell our oil as much as we need", he added.

Turkey has also said it would keep up Iranian crude imports, while China, the largest consumer of Iranian crude oil, has criticised the U.S. for withdrawing from the deal.

Last week, a senior US State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as "one of our top national security priorities". But he says the United States "is prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis".

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols the region, has said it has not seen any "unsafe and unprofessional" actions by Iranian naval forces in the Gulf since August 2017.

Hook's comments follow a turbulent week in the oil market that started last Tuesday when another State Department official called on buyers to stop importing Iranian crude by November 4.

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