Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Saudi Arabia persuaded to help offset high oil price

Trump says Saudi king agreed to raise oil production up to 2 million barrels WTI retreats from tops, back below $73.00
Kelvin Reese | 02 July, 2018, 07:14

US President Donald Trump has urged Saudi Arabia to sharply increase its oil production to combat the rising cost of fuel, according to a BBC NEws report on Sunday.

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

If Trump made such a request, Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Bloomberg, that meant the president was calling on the Saudis to ignore their commitment to OPEC. "We now see these GCC countries increasing their output above their OPEC quota levels in the second half of 2018, supporting real GDP growth in their oil sectors", Malik said.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was selling Friday for over $79 a barrel, and there is talk that in certain circumstances a return to $100 a barrel oil is possible. US prices for retail gasoline at the moment have reached levels that haven't been matched in the past four years.

Non-Opec member Russian Federation on June 23 also backed the effort, capping a week of tense diplomacy for the grouping that averted a damaging rift between arch foes Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"Prices to [sic] high!"

In this scenario, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq are the main countries that have the capacity to increase production, she said.

Oil-producing Gulf countries will be the main beneficiaries of a recent decision by OPEC members to hike crude production by one million barrels per day, analysts said.

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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.

Interestingly the EIA production data has shown no increase for United States crude output for three weeks now at 10.9 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia regulates its oil production in agreement with other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Last week, a source told Reuters that Saudi output would rise to 11 million bpd in July, a whole 1 million bpd above May.

On Saturday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States was trying to drive a wedge between Iranians and their government using "economic pressure". "While Saudi Arabia has the capacity in theory, it takes time and money to bring these barrels online, up to one year", she said. "It's certainly easy to imagine a scenario at this point where oil prices hit $100 again this year", said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

As Tehran seeks ways to counter USA sanctions that would restrict its exports and eat into its market share, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh wrote to his UAE counterpart, Suhail al-Mazrouei, who holds the OPEC presidency in 2018, urging him to remind OPEC members to adhere to last month's agreement.

The output increases come as the United States has urged some OPEC members to raise output to compensate for supply losses caused by renewed USA sanctions on Iran.

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