Trump backs off claim of convicing Saudi Arabia to boost oil production

Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One en route to Bedminster New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews

A further 2 million barrel per day increase would put Saudi Arabia's oil output almost at its maximum of 12 million barrels per day, as measured by the International Energy Agency.

A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Saturday afternoon 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". It did not elaborate.

But in a statement Saturday evening, the White House said King Salman bin Abdulaziz affirmed that Saudi Arabia has 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of spare production capacity "which it will prudently use if and when necessary to ensure market balance and stability, and in coordination with its producer partners, to respond to any eventuality".

President Donald Trump says he has received assurances from King Salman of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will increase oil production, "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels", in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.

Saudi Arabia acknowledged the call took place, but mentioned no production targets, despite Trump tweeting in reference to Salman, 'He agreed!'

Oil prices increased Friday as USA sanctions against Iran threatened to remove a substantial volume of crude oil from world markets at a time of rising global demand.

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Oil prices rose last week to the highest levels since 2014.

Oil cartel OPEC and Russian Federation have agreed to raise output by around 1 million barrels per day (bpd), with Saudi Arabia planning to pump 11 million bpd in July, an oil industry source told Reuters this week.

There was no confirmation that Saudi Arabia would increase oil production, as President Trump said.

In a meeting between Russian Federation and OPEC earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and Moscow helped to convince the cartel's members to raise production as countries such as the US, India and China - the major consumers of oil - complain about high prices.

The anonymous official made the comment to The Wall Street Journal Saturday, not long after US President Donald Trump claimed that the monarchy has agreed to raising the oil output to take on Iran and Venezuela.

"Kuwait will raise its oil production from tomorrow to 2.785 million barrels, a daily increase of 85,000 compared to May, based on last week's production cut agreement", Rashidi told Arabic-language daily Al-Rai. That was after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom would honour the OPEC decision to stick to a one-million-barrel increase.

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Saudi King Salman speaks during a meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi Bilateral Coordination Council in Riyadh on October 22, 2017.

"We will be in uncharted territory".

Iran had been pushing hard for oil producers to hold output steady as USA sanctions are expected to hit its exports.

But destabilizing OPEC could throw global oil markets into even greater turmoil than they've seen since Trump's election.

Price increases have also been driven by Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose trade sanctions there. But he said it's unlikely that decrease could sustain itself as demand spikes, leading prices to rise by wintertime.

The Trump administration has been counting on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to supply enough oil to offset the lost Iranian exports and prevent oil prices from rising sharply.

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That's up about 55 cents from the same period past year, at a time Mr Trump's Republican Party is trying to hold on to its majorities in Congress in the November midterm elections.

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