Oil dips as Saudi Arabia pledges to play 'responsible role' in market

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day from the current 10.7 million

Brent oil holds near $80 as Saudi Arabia plans output increase

U.S. WTI crude oil -2.6% to $67.56/bbl and Brent -2.3% to $78.01/bbl after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed.

The kingdom, which produces more than a tenth of global supplies, had vowed on Monday not to withhold its output as a political weapon amid the worldwide backlash over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an interview with Reuters on Sunday, dismissed concerns that oil prices could rise, saying the market had already factored in the supply losses.

US sanctions against Iran's oil exports are due to kick off on November 4. And those interests are what many countries are considering as they look at the role the Saudi Arabian government may have played in the killing of one of its most prominent critics, journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The 1973 oil crisis began when Arab producers led by Saudi Arabia slapped an oil embargo on Western supporters of Israel in its war with Egypt, targeting Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States.

"Saudi and Russian oil production is now close to its highest historical level, and the two countries have no additional capacity to produce more and replace Iran's oil", he added. And Saudi Arabia has been consistent in its policy. Shipping brokerage Eastport said crude prices were "expected to decline in coming months, as rising production in the US offsets increasing global demand".

Oil prices spiked on the move, as they did later in 1979 because of the Iranian revolution.

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West Texas Intermediate for December delivery declined US$2.88 to US$66.48 a barrel at 1:35 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, slipping below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a year.

"The weekly inventory data is unlikely to provide any respite, with a fifth consecutive build expected to U.S. oil inventories", said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.

"It will become an open-ended agreement to continue to monitor and work together to stabilise the markets". If US crude drops below $US65, a psychologically important figure, that could trigger further technical selling, traders said.

"I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers", Falih said, when asked whether the world can avoid oil hitting $100 per barrel again.

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

"It would be in Russia's best interests not to facilitate Iranian evasion of USA sanctions".

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