Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to increase its oil production to a record high of 10.8 million barrels per day (m/d) in what is seen as a swift response to a call by US President Donald Trump to pump more crude into markets and help lower prices.
Bloomberg quoted unnamed officials as saying that the state oil company Saudi Aramco would start to produce an extra 0.8 m/d of oil from July in an effort which they said would be adopted to cool down prices.
This would embark one of Aramco’s biggest-ever export surges, the report added.
The company’s previous highest production level was registered in November 2016 when it pumped around 10.72 m/d, Bloomberg wrote adding that the July surge illustrated an unprecedented response by the Saudis to Trump’s pressures on producers to supply more oil.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last week that it pumped 10.03 m/d in May. The actual production level in July will depend on demand for exports and domestic consumption, so could end up ranging between 10.6 m/d and 11 m/d a day, Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.
Saudi Arabia is under pressure from the White House to pump more crude to alleviate high prices before he US midterm elections in November, the report added.
Trump has publicly complained about OPEC policy and rising oil prices on Twitter. “Looks like OPEC is at it again,” Trump wrote in mid-April in a post on Twitter. “Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” He criticized the cartel again in May and after last week’s meeting.
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has put the blame on high oil prices on the aggressive policies pursued by Trump, himself, against producers such as Iran and Venezuela.
Before last week’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, Zanganeh told reporters that the Organization was not part of the US administration and Washington could not push it around as it desired over production targets.