A White House spokesperson referred questions to the National Security Council, which declined to comment.
Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted that he expected a deal soon between Saudis and Russians to sharply reduce their exports. That sent Brent crude prices surging as much as 45 percent, though the rally soon weakened. U.S. prices were trading up more than 25 percent near $25 a barrel by mid-afternoon.
“Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!“ Trump tweeted. “…..Could be as high as 15 Million Barrels. Good (GREAT) news for everyone!” he tweeted minutes later.
But it quickly became clear that Trump’s tweet may have been aspirational. Saudi Arabia in its own statement was more circumspect, only saying it sought a meeting of OPEC and other oil producing countries to discuss “a desired balance to the oil market.”
Other sources said despite Trump’s statement, they hadn’t yet heard much about how the administration intended to press the two countries to reduce their oil output.
“The conversations are not aggressive,” said one industry official who was recently briefed by administration officials. “We don’t have a plan to force their hand in any way. This is serious enough that they want to have an agreement with the Saudis, but don’t expect them to hammer out a deal.”