Saudi and the US: A friendship based on security and oil

Oil drill pipe casings sit at a Colgate Energy site in Reeves County Texas US

Oil drill pipe casings sit at a Colgate Energy site in Reeves County Texas US

By taking modestly less aggressive positions in the coming weeks, the US could distance itself from another example of aggressive Saudi policy and reduce USA dependence on the Saudis for stabilizing oil markets as Iranian exports are reduced.

In July, CME's rival Intercontinental Exchange said that it planned to launch a crude oil futures contract of physically delivered Permian WTI, deliverable in Houston, as the city has become the pricing center for USA oil amid growing production and exports.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with investors weighing the possible impact of US sanctions on Iran's oil exports on crude supply in the market.

Exports have declined already to about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), up to 1 million bpd below levels seen earlier this year.

Oil edges higher amid tension over death of Saudi journalist

U.S. inventories rose 6.49 million barrels last week, according to government data released Wednesday, more than twice the amount forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

Brent crude oil has now dropped below $80 a barrel.

Oil traded near the lowest level in a month after a bigger-than-expected gain in American stockpiles overshadowed tensions between the USA and Saudi Arabia over a missing critic of the kingdom.

"A coming seasonal scale back in refinery demand could result in oil stock builds".

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Moreover, the issue of the disappearance of the prominent Saudi critic and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has brought impact on the oil market activities as of late.

For the week, United States crude was down 3.5 percent, while Brent was 1.1 percent lower, putting both on track for a second consecutive weekly decline.

At the most basic level, the policy failed to achieve its stated objective of changing USA support for Israel or forcing Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

For example, if the USA were to halt or reduce production, the implications would be big because the price increase could be high.

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On its part, India, the world's third-biggest oil importer, is facing record high retail prices after worldwide crude price soared and rupee depreciated against the United States dollar.

On Oct 9 the International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, partly due to the toll trade policy tensions and the imposition of import tariffs were taking on commerce.

"Despite the bullish talk, Saudi Arabia is very unlikely to pick the oil market as a means for retaliation", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer Group Zurich.

The U.S. administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports and encouraging Saudi Arabia, other OPEC states and Russian Federation to pump more oil to meet any shortfall.

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The Islamic country previously stored oil at Dalian during the last round of sanctions in 2014 that was later sold to buyers in South Korea and India.

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