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June 5, 2018, 9:00 a.m. EDT

U.S. makes rare request of OPEC: Boost oil output

Move comes as President Donald Trump publicly complained about surging oil prices

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By William Watts, MarketWatch


AFP/Getty Images
OPEC headquarters in Vienna.

In an unusual demand, the U.S. government has asked Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase oil output by around 1 million barrels a day to help cap rising oil prices, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The move came after U.S. President Donald Trump in April publicly complained on Twitter (see below) about OPEC policies at rising oil prices around the time retail gasoline prices hit a roughly three-year high, the report said .

Bloomberg said the request was debated at a meeting of some Arab oil ministers over the weekend in Kuwait City.

Oil futures extended losses on Tuesday morning, with August Brent crude , the global benchmark, off $1.27, or 1.7%, at $74.02 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery  on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 24 cents, or 0.4%, to $64.51 a barrel.

Crude-oil prices have been steadily climbing since last October as an agreement to cap global output has helped crude-oil prices to sop up a global glut of the commodity that had sent futures tumbling from a peak in June of 2014.

William Watts is MarketWatch's deputy markets editor, based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @wlwatts.

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