US Urges Oil Producing States to Keep Output High, Limit Iran Imports

US Urges Oil Producing States to Keep Output High, Limit Iran Imports

Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 - 10:00
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. AFP file photo
Kuwait - Wael Mahdi
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry met with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih on Monday in Washington, as the Trump administration encourages big oil-producing countries to keep output high ahead of the renewed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.

Perry will meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday in Moscow, a US source and a diplomatic source said Sunday night.

High oil prices are a risk for President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans in Nov. 6 congressional elections. 

Global oil prices have already risen sharply to more than $76 a barrel in recent weeks on concerns about sanctions on Iran's oil exports that Washington will renew on Nov. 4.

Trump withdrew the United States in May from the nuclear deal with Iran, and he is pushing consuming countries to cut their purchases of Iranian oil to zero.

It is unclear what the United States may offer big oil producers in return for higher oil production.

Saudi Arabia has been seeking a civilian nuclear agreement with the United States that could allow the kingdom to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium.

Russia wants the United States to drop sanctions on Moscow.

OPEC and non-OPEC officials will meet later this month to discuss proposals for sharing an oil output increase, after the groups decided in June to boost output moderately.

The OPEC-led deal to cut oil output would be implemented in September at the same level as in August and July, Interfax cited Novak as saying on Monday.

Meanwhile, despite differences between the US and India over calls made by Washington for the Asian country to cut its imports of Iranian oil, India has curbed buying from Iran. But South Korea has gone one step further by halting purchases before the US imposes the sanctions on Nov. 4.

Bloomberg quoted a senior State Department official as saying that talks with India will continue ahead of the Trump administration’s Nov. 4 deadline for countries to halt Iranian oil imports or face sanctions.

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