United States President Donald Trump on Monday said he hopes Saudi Arabia and OPEC don’t cut oil production hours after the Saudi energy minister indicated the country would reduce its output next month.
“Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.
The president, who has no public events scheduled for Monday, commented on oil prices the same day Saudi Arabia said it would cut its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day in December.
CNN reported that Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said members of OPEC could further reduce supply next year to balance the market. The organization could reach a decision at its Dec. 6 meeting in Vienna.
“The consensus among all members is that we need to do whatever it takes to balance the market,” Al Falih said, according to CNN. “If that means trimming supply by a million [barrels per day], we will do it.”
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States have been on the rise since the killing of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Trump has called the killing of Khashoggi the worst cover-up ever, but has indicated that he does not want the murder to interfere greatly in the U.S.-Saudi economic relationship.
Reports over the weekend indicated that the administration has heard a tape of Khashoggi’s killing.
Oil production increased in November in an apparent effort to balance the market as the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector.
Trump has repeatedly criticized OPEC and called on the organization of oil exporters to help lower gas prices, to little avail.
In June, he again blamed the organization for “artificially high” gas prices, tweeting that “OPEC is at it again.”
In July, he accused the organization of doing “little to help” rising gas prices. In September, he threatened to end military support for Middle Eastern countries if OPEC did not address oil prices.