- Saudi Arabia has “significantly” raised crude production to near record levels of 10.7 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reported.
- Trump has been railing against OPEC to bring prices down ahead of November midterm elections.
- Brent recently hit $US85 per barrel, a high since 2014.
- As the oil price rises, Trump has increasingly dangled the US’s military relationship with Saudi Arabia as incentive for the country to keep prices down.
Saudi Arabia has “significantly” raised crude production to near record levels of 10.7 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reported, citing the country’s energy minister. The move comes amid pressure from US President Donald Trump, who has been railing against OPEC and rising oil prices.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia and Russia would lift output from September to December after officials from those countries struck a deal in Algeria in late September to bolster output. Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud spoke on the phone on Saturday, a Saudi report said.
Oil prices have been hovering at a 2014 high of about $US85 a barrel. Looming US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela threatened to drive the price to $US90, Richard Mallinson, energy and geopolitics expert and co-founder of Energy Aspects recently told Business Insider.
Oil price gains are hitting the pocketbooks of American drivers, which is particularly risky ahead of November midterm elections. Potentially with the midterms in mind, Trump tweeted in September: “We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”
On Tuesday at a rally in Mississippi, Trump alluded to the kind of pressure he had put on Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of OPEC’s highest producing nation.
“I love the king, King Salman, but I said, ‘King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military, you have to pay.'”
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