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Trump calls Saudi king to discuss 'rip-off' oil prices

President Trump and King Salman met in Riyadh in May 2017 [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 September, 2018

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The American leader has called for OPEC to bring down energy prices, ahead of heavy sanctions on Iranian oil exports - that Trump himself imposed - resuming in November.
US President Donald Trump discussed oil prices with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday night, days after claiming OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia were "ripping off" America with high prices. 

The pair spoke on the telephone amid the American leader's call for OPEC to bring down energy prices.

"The efforts to maintain supplies to ensure the stability of the oil market and ensure the growth of the global economy" were discussed by the two leaders, SPA said.

American officials acknowledged the call, but offered no details.

Trump, facing political pressure at home, has been calling on OPEC and American allies like Saudi Arabia to boost their production to lower global crude oil prices.

However just days ago at the UN General Assembly, Trump charged the cartel with causing oil prices to rise while benefiting from massive US military protection to oil supplies.

"OPEC and OPEC nations, are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don't like it," he said.

"We want them to stop raising prices. We want them to start lowering prices and they must contribute substantially to military protection from now on."

Prices are predicted to soar in November when a second round of American sanctions - that Trump himself imposed - target oil exports from Iran, one of OPEC's top producers and founding members. 

Iran's oil minister had previously warned his Saudi counterpart that the OPEC supply pact from last year does not give member countries the right to raise oil production above their targets. Last month, Iran again warned member countries should not be allowed to take over another member's share of oil exports

While no country was named, OPEC's biggest producer is Saudi Arabia, and they reported that the kingdom had pumped 10.489 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, up 459,000 from May and above its target of just over 10 million bpd. 

Benchmark Brent crude now trades above $80 a barrel. 

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