Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production

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Last week, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to pump one million barrels more crude oil a day, but summer usually leads to a demand for oil in the US, in turn pushing up prices.

Kuwait will increase its oil production by 85,000 barrels per day (bpd) Sunday, as part of a broader OPEC agreement to raise production by one million bpd, according to energy Minister Bakhit al-Rashidi.

"Triple-digit oil prices are not off the table", Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, topped $80 a barrel in mid-May, the highest level since November 2014.

The US State Department announced it was aiming to drive the country's oil exports to "zero", rejecting the gradual approach to sanctions President Barack Obama's administration adopted back in 2012.

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US President Donald Trump says the king of Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase oil production by "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" to offset declines from Iran and Venezuela, but the Saudis have not confirmed the claim.

Saudi authorities acknowledged that the two leaders had a conversation but had no immediate comment on its substance.

Meanwhile Saudi state media reported that Salman and Trump held a phone call, and discussed the need to preserve oil market stability and the efforts of oil-producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage.

"Saudi Arabia does not really like going beyond 11 million barrels a day and has no intention of expanding its current production capacity".

U.S. retail unleaded gasoline prices, including taxes, averaged $2.833 a gallon for the week ended 25 June, according to the nation's Energy Information Administration.

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Trump's aim may be to exert maximum pressure on Iran while at the same time not upsetting potential USA midterm voters with higher gas prices, said Antoine Halff, a Columbia University researcher and former chief oil analyst for the International Energy Agency.

Trump's warning last week about buying oil from Iran threw doubt and confusion into the energy market. Russian Federation plans to increase output by more than 200,000 bpd.

China's yuan slipped to a new low against the US -dollar on Friday CNHUSD=R and despite a slight recovery was on course for its worst month on record, as the increasingly bitter trade row with the United States threatened to rattle the world's second-biggest economy.

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at OPEC on Twitter in recent months, piling pressure on Riyadh, a major ally, to boost output as he hopes for lower pump prices before midterm congressional elections in November.

This comes barely days after the United States has asked countries to cut all oil imports from Iran by the start of November or else face powerful USA sanctions. OPEC and Russian Federation reached a complicated agreement during the talks, with OPEC agreeing to pump more oil - but perhaps not as much as some had expected. The market's attention has shifted to a spate of disruptions after weeks of focus on supply coming online from OPEC and other major producers, she said.

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The US Department of Energy softened the Trump administration's hard line on Thursday, saying sanctions on Iran may leave room for some buyers to cut back gradually.