Saudi says ready to pump more oil to balance market

Saudi says ready to pump more oil to balance market

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said the extra Saudi oil would help offset a decline in supply from Iran, after the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May and moved to reimpose oil sanctions.

A US State Department official said in a briefing that more than 50 global companies intend to drop the use of Iranian oil before the 4 November restart of the sanctions.

At their meeting in Vienna last month, OPEC countries and key ally Russian Federation said they will raise production by a million barrels per day, but analysts are concerned it may not be enough for oil prices to spiral out of control, at least until new USA shale production comes on stream.

Oil prices had risen on Friday on worries that USA sanctions against Iran would take away significant volumes of crude oil from world markets while oil demand worldwide increases. That's led to higher prices at gasoline pumps in the it heads toward midterm elections for Congress.

While OPEC leader Saudi Arabia will pick up the slack, Morgan Stanley believes oil markets will be undersupplied by around 600,000 in the second half of 2018. Asked if someone was manipulating oil markets, Trump said: "OPEC is and they better stop it because we're protecting those countries, many of those countries".

But the United States official, Brian Hook, also said that keeping prices stable in the absence of Iranian crude is also important.

"Yes, of course. That's what we're doing".

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In May, the USA retreated from a multilateral deal with Iran regarding its nuclear disarmament program, and imposed sanctions to limit the world's fourth largest oil exporter's access to global markets.

Eshaq Jahangiri made the comments Sunday in a televised speech.

A survey of analyst expectations from S&P Global Platts revealed expectations of a drain on US crude oil inventories of 4.5 million barrels last week, adding support to the concerns about a market deficit.

At the same time, the official said, the United States would work with countries that import Iranian crude on a "case by case" basis, signaling that the Trump administration might not immediately impose sanctions on those that continue importing from Iran beyond a November 4 deadline.

Last week, a senior US State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as "one of our top national security priorities".

Investors had questions as "to whether Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could or would really be able to ramp production quickly enough", said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee US$151 billion at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

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