The Latest: Trump says Saudis could boost oil production

July 01, 2018 - 12:15 am

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Saudi oil production (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says in a tweet that King Salman of Saudi Arabia has assured him that his country will boost oil production, perhaps as much as 2 million barrels, in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.

While the Saudi description of the conversation between Trump and King Salman makes no mention of a specific increase in oil production, the White House says King Salman referred to the kingdom maintaining a spare capacity of 2 million barrels per day. The White House says it's been advised that the kingdom will prudently use that capacity "if and when necessary" to ensure market balance and stability.

Oil prices have edged higher as the Trump administration pushes U.S. allies to end oil purchases from Iran.

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8:50 a.m.

Saudi Arabia says that King Salman has spoken to President Donald Trump, but gave no mention of the 2 million barrels of extra production the American leader tweeted about earlier in the day.

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 added that there also was an understanding that oil-producing countries would need "to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies." It did not elaborate.

Trump tweeted earlier Saturday that he has received assurances from King Salman that his kingdom would increase oil production, "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels," in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.

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8:05 a.m.

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.

Trump says on Twitter Saturday that he asked Salman to increase oil production "to make up the difference...Prices to (sic) high! He has agreed!"

His comments come as oil prices have edged higher as his administration pushes U.S. allies to end oil purchases from Iran.

The OPEC cartel recently agreed to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil per day. Trump's claim of a 2-million-barrel increase for Saudi Arabia alone does not specify a timeframe.

There was no immediate acknowledgment from the Saudi Royal Court that the conversation took place. Officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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