Home Business Trump Pressures Saudi Arabia to Increase Oil Production

Trump Pressures Saudi Arabia to Increase Oil Production


Aside from the Saudis, only a handful of producers, including Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, are likely to be able to put more oil on the market soon. The International Energy Agency, the Paris-based group that represents consumer countries, recently estimated what it called “short order supply” from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, at 1.14 million barrels a day. Russia could also add as much as 400,000 barrels a day, analysts say.

While production in the United States has been rising rapidly, largely through the extraction of oil from shale rock, analysts forecast that the growth is likely to slow in the coming months because of a lack of sufficient pipelines to transport the oil to markets.

At the same time, factional fighting in Libya is causing a large outage, while the oil output of Venezuela, once a major producer, has fallen by around 1 million barrels a day over the last two years, with further steep declines possible in the coming months.

The market is not short of oil now. But traders are concerned that all of these problems may add up to shortages down the road. Estimates of how much spare capacity or quickly accessible oil is available vary, but most experts think it would be challenging to cover a large drop in Iranian exports combined with other outages.

In a statement on Saturday, Saudi Arabia said that King Salman had spoken to Mr. Trump and that the leaders discussed the need to address any potential shortages in the supply of oil as well as maintain stability in the oil markets. The statement did not include any specific figures.

The Saudis are longstanding regional rivals of Iran, and they generally welcome the tough line Mr. Trump is taking toward Tehran.

In its own statement on Saturday, the White House said Mr. Trump and King Salman agreed that balancing the global oil market was “essential to ensure access to reliable and affordable energy to people everywhere.”

The White House said King Salman affirmed that the kingdom maintained a two million barrel per day spare capacity, which it would “prudently use if and when necessary.”


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