Saudi King wouldn't last 'two weeks' without United States support

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A barrel of oil now costs about $75, continuing a steady increase over the past year.

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter and the de facto leader of the oil producing bloc, OPEC, which has been criticised by Trump for high oil prices.

"OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don't like it".

One analyst said the Saudi plan to pump more would not change much. Who knows, but it came shortly after Brent rose its highest level in four years, which seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

OPEC's largest producer is now pumping about 10.7 million barrels a day, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. "But I said 'King we're protecting you, you might not be there for two weeks without us - you have to pay for your military".

So far, OPEC has ruled out any further production increase, beyond fully delivering the boost agreed in June.

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Nevertheless, the White House still does not appear to be completely mollified.

Criticizing America's longstanding military relationships with allies has been a hallmark of Mr. Trump's presidential campaign and his time in office.

Trump has yet to demand payment for keeping U.S. troops in the oil-rich region, but the USA president did urge them to lower oil prices in return for security last week.

Brent crude rose almost 2 percent after hitting a four-year high on Wednesday as the market focused on upcoming US sanctions on Iran while shrugging off the year's largest weekly build in USA crude stockpiles and reports of higher Saudi Arabian and Russian production. "But we don't get what we should be getting", he said at a rally in West Virginia. Mr. Trump and King Salman last shared a reported telephone call on Saturday, in which they discussed "efforts to maintain supplies to ensure the stability of the oil market and ensure the growth of the global economy", according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

It remains to be seen if Trump can convince the Saudis to take a more aggressive line, although it should be noted that Saudi Arabia's decision to increase production by 300,000 bpd from August levels is not trivial.

-At the Russian Energy Week conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Al-Falih has the opportunity to recalibrate this message, if he wishes.

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