US President Donald Trump’s administration backed off an assertion he made hours earlier indicating he persuaded Saudi Arabia to effectively boost oil production to its maximum capacity.
“Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference…Prices to high! He has agreed!,” Trump said on Twitter Saturday.
But in a statement Saturday evening, the White House said King Salman bin Abdulaziz affirmed that Saudi Arabia has 2 million barrels a day of spare production capacity “which it will prudently use if and when necessary to ensure market balance and stability, and in coordination with its producer partners, to respond to any eventuality.”
The White House statement aligned with one by the state-run Saudi Press Agency saying that the king and Trump, in a phone call Saturday, discussed efforts by the oil-producing countries to compensate potential shortages in oil supply. The two leaders stressed the importance of maintaining oil-market stability, according to the report. The agency didn’t say the leaders agreed and didn’t make any reference to 2 million barrels.