Trump tells Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, citing excessive prices

US President Donald Trump has asked Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production by up to two million barrels a day to combat the escalating cost of fuel.

In a tweet posted on Saturday, Trump said that he had spoken to Saudi ruler King Salmon about the world’s top oil exporter increasing its output due to ‘turmoil & disfunction’ in Iran and Venezuela.

“Prices to [sic] high! He has agreed!” the president added.

Oil prices increased last week despite OPEC members and Russia agreeing to increase output to push prices down, with the rise widely attributed to US plans to reimpose sanctions on major oil producer Iran.

The Saudi Press Agency confirmed that President Trump and King Salman had spoken by phone, giving few details and only saying that they had discussed the need to ‘preserve the stability of the oil market’.

The statement did not confirm that Saudi Arabia had agreed to the two million barrels a day production increase.

Saudi Arabia is reported to have between 1.5 million and two million barrels a day of spare capacity, but a Saudi official told The Wall Street Journal it might not be keen to meet the president’s request.

“Saudi Arabia does not really like going beyond 11 million barrels a day and has no intention of expanding its current production capacity. It is expensive,” said the official.