Saudi to raise oil production by 2mn BPD

Saudi king said will boost oil output if needed: White House

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.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said Saudi Arabia's King Salman had agreed to his request to ramp up oil production.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that state oil company Saudi Aramco was preparing to increase production in July to about 10.8 million barrels a day after pressure from Trump. It said that their discussion included efforts "to preserve the stability of the oil market" and "of the producing countries to cover any possible shortage in supplies". The U-S president is opposed to rising oil prices.

Oil prices surged again on news that the US was pressuring its allies not to import oil from Iran, lest they risk sanctions.

Investors are betting Saudi Arabia has little room to respond to a future crisis should it boost output even more to meet Trump's request, as Saudi Arabia only has about 2 million barrels of unused capacity, according to International Energy Agency.

"Saudi Arabia obviously can deliver as much as the market would need, but we're going to be respectful of the one-million-barrel cap - and at the same time be respectful of allocating some of that to countries that deliver it", al-Falih said then.

Russia, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait jointly have another million barrels, so there is spare production of 3 million barrels a day.

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"This is just simply not doable", said one senior Saudi oil official cited by the Journal. Prices also have risen with ongoing unrest in Venezuela and fighting in Libya over control of that country's oil infrastructure.

The current production curb pact calls for participating countries to trim output by 1.8 million barrels a day. Reposition of sanctions on Iran is likely to affect top Asian buyers like Japan, South Korea, and India. China remains the largest importer of Iranian oil with 24 percent, followed by India with 18 percent.

U.S. officials are pressing allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to adhere to the sanctions, which are aimed at pressuring Iran to negotiate a follow-up agreement to halt its nuclear programmes.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday accused the U.S. of trying to turn Iranians against their government. "He has agreed!" Trump tweeted early on Saturday.

Trump applauded the decision to increase supply, writing on Twitter that OPEC needs to "keep the prices down".

Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of trying to push up oil prices and said both countries are acting against the foundation of OPEC.

The State Department has said it expects the "vast majority" of countries will comply with the U.S. request. "This was managed between the two to rob the pocket of rest of the world", he said.

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