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

Venezuela's production has fallen to 1.4 million barrels a day, about a million barrels a day less than it produced two years ago. Its record is 10.72 million barrels a day.

Saudi state media reported that during the call, the Saudi king and Trump emphasized the need to preserve oil market stability and efforts of oil-producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage.

If Trump's comments are accurate, oil analyst Phil Flynn said it could immediately knock $2 U.S. or $3 off a barrel of oil.

But destabilizing OPEC could throw global oil markets into even greater turmoil than they've seen since Trump's election.

There's a risk that supplies from Iran could be cut further as there's pressure on other countries to join the United States in sanctions, he said.

This comes after leaders from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided on increasing oil production by 1 million barrels per day, at a meeting last week.

Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised Opec even though United States ally Saudi Arabia is a core member.

Opec agreed with Russian Federation and other oil producers to raise output by a million barrels per day earlier this month.

"There is also some analysis from energy sector experts who say that Saudi Arabia could perhaps increase its daily output but it would only be for a very short time and the quality of the oil produced would be very low amd very hard to refine".

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Iran had been pushing hard for oil producers to hold output steady as US sanctions are expected to hit its exports.

Trump implied on Twitter that he had asked the king in a phone call to increase oil production in hopes of greater supply bringing costs down in the U.S., which have risen since America stopped importing Iranian oil. Global oil prices have increased from between $40 and $50 per barrel in 2016, to $74 Friday amid rising global demand. In January, OPEC producers agreed to reduce output to help balance the market after a glut of supply caused a steep fall in prices.

In a meeting between Russian Federation and OPEC earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and Moscow helped to convince the cartel's members to raise production as countries such as the US, India and China - the major consumers of oil - complain about high prices.

His comments come as oil prices have edged higher as his administration pushes USA allies to end oil purchases from Iran. Oil prices also have risen with the ongoing unrest in Venezuela, as well as with fighting in Libya over control of that country's oil infrastructure. That was after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom would honour the OPEC decision to stick to a one-million-barrel increase.

US 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 programs.

The curbs were meant to help drain a global oil glut, a goal that has largely been achieved, though supply disruptions are now adding pressure to prices.

Meanwhile, Leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei slammed all-out USA economic and political measures against Tehran in a Saturday address, describing them as futile efforts to turn Iranians against the Islamic Republic.

That might be fine by Trump, who earlier this month blamed rising prices on OPEC, but has fostered close ties to Saudi Arabia. "This was managed between the two to rob the pocket of rest of the world", he said.

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