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Kuwait pumps up oil output to limit prices

June 30, 2018

Kuwait is to increase its output as part of a broader agreement by OPEC countries and Russia to boost oil production. The move comes amid international price sensitivity, especially ahead of US elections.

A derek pumps in a Kuwaiti oil field as a pair of gas flares burn in the background.
Image: Getty Images/J. Raedle

Kuwait will increase its oil production by 85,000 barrels per day (bpd) Sunday, as part of a broader OPEC agreement to raise production by one million bpd, according to energy Minister Bakhit al-Rashidi.

"Kuwait will raise its oil production from tomorrow to 2.785 million barrels, a daily increase of 85,000 compared to May, based on last week's production cut agreement," Rashidi told the

Arabic-language daily Al-Rai, a local newspaper.

OPEC and other oil producing countries, including Russia, agreedthis month to amp up production by 1 million bpd starting July 1. Russia plans to increase output by more than 200,000 bpd.

Saudi Arabia is to pump nearly 11 million bpd, and perhaps more.

US President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning that Saudi King Salman had agreed to his request to boost oil output by up to 2 million bpd, although Trump did not specify a timeframe.

Rising prices

A short time later the Saudi government confirmed the phone conversation but stopped short of affirming Trump's claim of an oil hike.

"During the call, the two leaders stressed the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets and the growth of the global economy," said the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

King Salman and Trump agreed that oil-producing countries would need "to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies," according to the agency.

Oil prices are pushing $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014, prompting growing concerns among consumers, particularly in the auto-dependent United States.

The production output comes against the backdrop of renewed US sanctions against Iran and growing turmoil in Venezuela, which could take 2 million bpd off the market.

Read more: Oil price rise halts

In addition, mid-term elections are due in the US in November. Trump has railed against clean renewable energies such as wind and solar in favor of sources such as oil and coal.

High gasoline prices traditionally bring a public backlash during US elections.

bik/jm (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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