Saudi, Russia 'quietly' bow to Trump oil demand

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:48s

EXCLUSIVE: Sources say Russia and Saudi Arabia struck a deal last month to raise oil output and notified the United States.

But the deal was kept quiet and appears to sidestep OPEC's public refusals to bow to American pressure.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Saudi, Russia 'quietly' bow to Trump oil demand

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We protect Saudi Arabia.

Would you say they are rich?" Reuters sources say Russia and Saudi Arabia struck a deal last month to quietly increase their oil production, and they notified the United States that they were doing so.

But the agreement was kept quiet because publicly they have refused to bow to demands from the White House to do exactly that: Increase production before the November midterm elections.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "And I love the king, King Salman.

I said 'King?

We are protecting you.

You might not be there for two weeks if we weren't protecting you.

You have to pay for your military.'" That was President Trump on Tuesday (September 2).

He's long criticized OPEC members like the Saudis for what he perceives as taking advantage of their alliance by keeping oil prices high.

Russia is not an OPEC member but it, obviously, has its own pressures from the States.

It appears that Moscow and Riyadh are sidestepping OPEC with their agreement.

It's not clear yet how the other OPEC countries feel about this.

Public record shows the Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, flew to the United States to watch a football game with Energy Secretary Rick Perry in the days before the agreement.

The two are both graduates of the same university.

The men then made separate visits to Moscow within days of the game to meet their Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak.

Sources say the deal came to fruition before an OPEC and Russian meeting in Algiers on September 21st, although both parties said during that meeting they would not increase output.

OPEC's output has been down, in part, because of U.S. sanctions on one of its members: Iran.

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