"Prices to [sic] high!"
The White House statement undercut a tweet by Trump earlier in the day when he wrote that Saudi Arabia had definitely agreed to produce more oil.
However, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told journalists in India on Monday that the state oil company has spare capacity of 2 million barrels of oil per day. The International Energy Agency, the Paris-based group that represents consumer countries, recently estimated what it called "short order supply" from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, at 1.14 million barrels a day.
Saudi Arabia, backed by non-member Russian Federation, had argued strongly in favor of increasing production as grumbles in major consumer countries like the United States, India and China have grown about high prices.
However, Riyadh did not reference anything related to a two-million-barrel increase, leading to questions about whether Trump's tweet was an exaggeration, wishful thinking, a business strategy, or yet another "Trumpism".
In a morning tweet from his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said he made the request during a conversation with Salman, citing the "turmoil" and dysfunction in Venezuela and Iran for driving up prices at the pump.
"The market will go up to $100 I am sure as Saudi Arabia said they will plan an increase for July". A steep rise in US output has since widened the price gap between the two benchmarks to more than $5 a barrel, making USA oil more attractive.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, topped $80 a barrel on May 17, the highest level since November 2014.
"I think it will contribute significantly to meet the extra demand that we see coming in the second half", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Faleh told reporters at the time.
These three countries have around 2.75 million bpd of spare capacity, accounting for around 85 per cent of the OPEC's total, according to International Energy Agency estimates.
United States crude prices for the front-month contract jumped by just over 8% for the week, nearly 11% for June and rose over 14% for the second quarter.
"We will be in uncharted territory".
Just a week ago, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement to gradually increase output by about 700,000 barrels a day to stabilize oil prices and offset lost production in Venezuela, where political and oil patch upheaval has led to a drop of exports. "While Saudi Arabia has the capacity in theory, it takes time and money to bring these barrels online, up to one year", she said.
With this move, the Trump administration has increased pressure on allies to stop funding to Iran.
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.
The oil markets were also shaken last week when a senior State Department official said that the United States would ask countries to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil to "zero".