April 1, 2020
Bin Salman with President Donald Trump
"The two countries are discussing it and I will join in due course if necessary," Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump also said that he had held talks he described as "great" during separate contacts with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, had, in agreement with Russia and other oil countries, reduced oil production during the past two years to raise declining prices since 2014.
During a meeting in Vienna last February, Riyadh called for an additional 1.5 million bpd reduction to counter the price deterioration caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, but Russia refused.
In response to the Russian position, Saudi Arabia reduced the price of oil put up for sale to its lowest level in 20 years, in an attempt to seize a large market share, which sparked turbulence in energy markets and ignited a price war between Riyadh and Moscow.
Trump finds himself in this war in front of a dilemma. On the one hand, the falling oil prices are considered a gift to the American consumer, and on the other hand, low black gold prices threaten the collapse of the entire American oil sector.
The White House announced that during the phone conversation between Trump and Putin on Monday, the two presidents agreed on the "importance of stability in the international energy market."
On Monday, Riyadh announced that it would increase its oil exports by 600,000 barrels per day in May to reach 10.6 million barrels, a record rate.
Saudi Arabia exports about seven million barrels per day, which means that it will pump an additional 3.6 million barrels in oil markets already saturated by the significant decline in demand, with many countries taking measures to combat the emerging Corona virus, including imposing a curfew and stopping flights.
One of the reasons for the increase is "the decrease in domestic demand for oil derivatives, due to the decrease in transportation traffic due to the precautionary measures taken to counter the spread of the Corona virus," an official source in the Ministry of Energy said, according to the state news agency.
He added that the increase is also the result of "the replacement of natural gas produced from the Al-Fadhli field, the oil that was used for the purpose of producing electricity."
Since the beginning of the current health crisis due to the outbreak of the new Corona virus, the oil markets have recorded a deterioration, exacerbated by the oil price war in Saudi Arabia.
And last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Saudi Arabia to "reassure oil and financial markets" in the face of the looming global economic crisis.
"We agreed on the need to cooperate with all countries in order to contain the pandemic and the stability of energy markets," said Pompeo in a tweet.