I told Saudi king he wouldn't last without USA support

Geraldine Edwards
October 4, 2018

Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 12 cents to $84.68 a barrel at 1125 GMT, reversing an earlier gain.

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Oil prices remain firm on Iran sanctions, with both West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the US benchmark, and Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, trading at multiyear highs.

The kingdom is the world's top oil exporter and the leader of the oil-producing bloc. I said, king, you have got trillions of dollars.

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That might not be enough to outweigh supply concerns but the scope for further strong price gains near-term seems limited. That would be just short of the record high for Saudi output of 10.72 million bpd in November 2016. "We just have to be responsive to demand" because some would say the market is now oversupplied, he said.

"Iran is the main supportive factor and is a test to the spare capacity of Saudi Arabia", said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.

Despite the harsh words, the Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it views as a bulwark against Iran's ambitions in the region.

In addition to lowering oil prices, Trump has called on close USA allies to shoulder more of the cost of defense spending, but Tuesday warning marked the most serious criticism of Riyadh.

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Driving oil higher is a supply pinch as Iranian oil buyers like South Korea and India have started to scale back purchases ahead of the implementation of US sanctions against Iran despite some sentiment that the sanctions won't stick.

Sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia had informed the United States of their private deal to raise supply before a meeting in Algeria with other producers.

So far, OPEC has ruled out any further production increase, beyond fully delivering the boost agreed in June.

Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's representative on OPEC's board of governors, said that USA sanctions on Iranian oil were "impossible", and called on Trump to return to the nuclear deal with Tehran. Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada defended the current OPEC strategy on Wednesday.

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