Saudi violated OPEC pact under U.S. pressure: Iran

With US sanctions against Iran coming up and possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia, analysts have said that oil could rise above $100 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia is ready to raise its output to 11 million barrels a day "in the near future" and has the ability to lift production as high as 12 million barrels a day if the market requires it, Al-Falih said.

"Iran might be pushing the idea of Russian Federation selling their oil on the world market to evade sanctions", a senior administration official told The Financial Times.

Speaking to Russia's TASS news agency about whether there could be a 1973-style oil embargo on the West, which saw petrol prices rocket after Saudi Arabia slapped countries including the USA with a ban, Mr Falih said: "There is no intention".

Other non-OPEC producers have also produced only 66,000 barrels per day of additional oil between May and September, the Iranian minister said, citing OPEC's estimates.

The embargo caused a sharp spike in oil and gasoline prices with long-term negative effects on the global economy.

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The minister reiterated that the market is unable to find a replacement for Iran's oil, urging Trump to abandon his plan to impose sanctions on the country. Shipping brokerage Eastport said crude prices were "expected to decline in coming months, as rising production in the US offsets increasing global demand".

Falih's statement showed that longer-term co-operation between OPEC and Russian Federation is on the cards in a bid to keep the market adequately supplied post-Iran sanctions, and to offset any imbalances in supply and demand that could come into play as the United States cranks up production and export volumes. Washington is largely depending on Saudi Arabia to fill the gap left by the loss of the Iranian barrels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 450 points, with industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and 3M leading the index lower and stoking concerns about slowing global economic growth.

There has been concern that just as markets tighten with the start of the USA sanctions against Iran, Saudi Arabia could cut crude supply in retaliation for potential sanctions against it over the Khashoggi killing. "So we have to use oil reserves".

"We will decide if there are any disruptions from supply, especially with the Iran sanctions looming", Falih said.

The reassurances seem to have worked, with oil markets more focused on American crude stockpiles than the potential fraying of the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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