Saudi Arabia has "no intention" of 1973 oil embargo replay

Saudi Arabia will separate its oil policy from politics, the country's oil minister Khalid al-Falih said.

It would be a landmark accord in that it would underscore a growing energy alliance between KSA and Russian Federation at a time when both countries face intensifying competition from large-scale United States production, propelled by the shale revolution. We are about to host the Saudis here for an worldwide investment conference and there have been credible reports that the Middle East country is either interested in doing weapons transactions with our parastatal armsmaker and seller Denel - or that they may want to acquire equity in the company.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time that Khashoggi - a critic of Saudi leaders and former Washington Post journalist - had been killed by Saudi agents. Russian Federation has also been angered by President Donald Trump's threat to pull out of a bilateral agreement to limit nuclear missile deployment.

Crude futures have already come under pressure after forecasters like OPEC and the International Energy Agency knocked down their projections for global oil demand growth. U.S. President Donald Trump is counting on Saudi cooperation to soften potential price increases from the sanctions that take effect next month.

U.S. sanctions against Iran's oil exports are due to kick off on 4th November, with Washington pressuring governments and companies worldwide to fall in line and cut imports from the West Asian nation. If US crude drops below $US65, a psychologically important figure, that could trigger further technical selling, traders said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, has boosted production to 10.7 million barrels a day and is nearing an all-time high.

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Saudi Arabia said last week it would retaliate against any punishment for the killing.

KSA now holds the biggest spare capacity of about 2 million barrels, which can be used when required.

"Investing in the capacity and producing the capacity will continue to be done", Falih said despite complaining of the high cost of raising and sustaining such capacity.

The Saudi minister expected demand for oil, which now stands at about 100 million barrels per day, to rise to 120 million bpd over the next three decades.

"We will meet any demand that materializes", Al-Falih said at the country's signature investment conference, which is being overshadowed by an worldwide outcry over the killing of Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi. This is the objective of the agreement: "monitor and stabilise", he said.

The United States has recently hinted that it was at least considering waivers, but U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend that it would be more hard for Iranian oil customers to get waivers from the sanctions than it was during the Obama administration, and the U.S. would issue waivers, if any, only to buyers that have significantly reduced Iranian purchases.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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