By Michael Bastasch
President Donald Trump asked King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to increase crude oil production to put downward pressure on prices and alleviate some pain at the gas pumps.
Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that he asked King Salman to “increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference,” adding, “Prices to[o] high! He has agreed!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2018
Saudi officials told The Wall Street Journal they made no firm commitment to increase crude oil production, “but rather assured the U.S. of its capability to meet oil demand.”
Renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran, unrest in Venezuela, escalated fighting in Libya and increased demand for oil have all put upward pressure on prices. In response, Americans have seen gas prices increase more than 60 cents per gallon in the past year.
Democrats tried to seize on gas price hikes, blaming Trump’s policies for pain at the pump. However, many experts said Trump’s policies had a negligible impact on gas prices, which were already on the rise. (RELATED: Have Gas Prices Peaked? Experts Say $3-A-Gallon National Avg. Is Unlikely In 2018)
Russia and Saudi Arabia have promised “measurable” output increases, possibly up to 1 million barrels per day, to make up for renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran. Unrest in Venezuela caused production to collapse in the country, and escalated fighting in Libya has analysts worried about supply cuts.
Gas prices are down about 10 cents per gallon from highs in late May. The national average price for a gallon of gas stands at $2.85 per gallon. Energy analysts expect prices to continue their downward trend through the end of 2018.
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