Saudi Arabia says ready to boost oil production, taking aim at Iran

Mr Trump said that he had a fondness for the European Union because his parents were born there

Mr Trump said that he had a fondness for the European Union because his parents were born there

Hook will travel to Vienna at the end of the week to meet with diplomats from Britain, France and Germany on the sidelines of talks among the remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal since Trump withdrew the United States from the accord in May. The move lower is attributable to Saudi Arabia's willingness to increase demand at the request of US President Donald Trump.

Saudi Arabia said it would "use its spare capacity when needed to deal with any future changes in oil supply and demand rates, in coordination with other producing countries", according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency.

The US ultimatum has also contributed to upward pressure on world oil prices, although Trump believes he has persuaded Saudi Arabia to offset this by ramping up its own production.

The fall came as the Russian Energy Ministry said on Monday that the country's oil output increased to 11.06 million barrels per day in June from 10.97 million barrels per day in May.

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue from crude oil sales", Hook, the State Department's director of policy and planning, told reporters. "If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s".

The statement said the kingdom will coordinate with other producers.

US production C-OUT-T-EIA has soared 30 percent in the past two years, to 10.9 million bpd, meaning the world's three biggest oil producers now churn out nearly 11 million bpd each, meeting a third of global oil demand.

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Hook said the USA sanctions on Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on August 6 while sanctions targeting energy and banking will be reinforced November 4.

Last week, Saudi Arabia was one of several countries that agreed to boost production by a combined 700,000 to one million barrels per day.

"A fall in the price per barrel won't serve the interests of the big oil producers", Kaddour stressed. Asked if someone was manipulating oil markets, Trump said: "OPEC is and they better stop it because we're protecting those countries, many of those countries".

US crude futures CLc1 were down 58 cents at $73.56 per barrel by 12:00 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), still in sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

The US Energy Information Administration label Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil exporter and has usually kept at least 1.5 million to two million barrels per day of spare capacity.

Libya's National Oil Corporation declared "force majeure", or unforeseeable circumstances, as the country's continued struggles with internal conflicts see approximately 850,000 barrels per day after losing control of Zueitina and Hariga ports this week.

China is the largest importer of Iranian oil with 24 percent, followed by India with 18 percent.

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