Oil production beyond the agreed limit set by OPEC needs the approval of the organization's members, the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company said Monday in response to recent reports that Saudi Arabia agreed to hike up its production at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to a story on the Iranian Oil Ministry's news website, Shana, Ali Kardor reacted to recent remarks by Saudi officials about ramping up the kingdom's crude oil output to "serve U.S. interests in the oil market", saying "if a contrary view exists in this regard, OPEC must convene an emergency meeting".
Sourcing its story to the Iranian Parliament’s news agency, ICANA, Shana quoted the official as saying that "Saudi Arabia has been notified of the interpretation of OPEC's recent statement and Iran’s OPEC governor has announced that any differing interpretation of the OPEC statement would make holding an emergency meeting of the members necessary".
Trump, who has long been a critic of high oil prices, said Saturday that he asked Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production in order to reduce prices on the global oil market.
"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & dysfunction 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 too high! He has agreed!" Trump wrote on his Twitter account.
The White House confirmed in a same-day press release that during the call on Friday, the two leaders "reaffirmed their dedication to a healthy and stable global energy market for the benefit of all nations".
"The two leaders agreed that balancing the global oil market is essential to ensure access to reliable and affordable energy to people everywhere," the statement said.
"In response to the President’s assessment of a deficit in the oil market, King Salman affirmed that the Kingdom maintains a two million barrel-per-day spare 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," it added.
Kardor argued that Saudi Arabia had "bragged about its ability to bolster crude oil output while the country may not be able to enhance its output by more than 500,000 barrels per day," Shana said.
On June 23, OPEC and some non-OPEC countries decided to add around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to global oil supply as of July 1.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday that Russian companies would start on Sunday to increase their oil production by 200 thousand bpd in line with the decision.
By Hale Turkes