19:53 GMT +318 July 2018
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    'Reduce Pricing Now!': Trump Demands OPEC Cut Oil Prices

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    US President Donald Trump has demanded that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries do more to stop the surge in global gasoline prices.

    "The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!" he tweeted.

    Trump said last Saturday he had spoken to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the need to increase the Saudi oil production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" due to instability in oil-rich Iran and Venezuela. He claimed the Saudi monarch had agreed with the proposal.

    However, the clarification that followed from the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) simply confirmed the call between Trump and King Salman was on "the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets" without mentioning any pledge in a unilateral output hike from Riyadh. Consequently, the White House toned down the US president’s claim, stating that King Salman confirmed Riyadh’s possession of 2 million barrel per day spare capacity that would be used "if and when necessary" and in coordination with OPEC-non-OPEC allies.

    OPEC countries and other major oil producers reached an agreement at the end of 2016 to reduce oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day compared to October 2016. The deal, aimed at boosting oil prices, was prolonged twice, with the last extension set to last until the end of 2018.

    Last week, OPEC countries agreed during a meeting in the Austrian capital to increase production to 1 million barrels per day, that is the volume of the countries' overcompliance with the agreement.

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    Tags:
    pricing, oil, output, gasoline, gas, OPEC, Donald Trump, United States
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