Saudi Arabia is monitoring the impact of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on oil supplies and is ready to offset any potential shortage but it will not act alone to fill in the gap, an OPEC source familiar with the kingdom’s oil thinking said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran and announced the “highest level” of sanctions against the OPEC member. The original agreement had lifted sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.
“People shouldn’t take it for granted that Saudi Arabia will produce more oil single-handedly. We need to assess first the impact if there is any, in terms of disruption, in terms of a reduction of Iran’s production,” the OPEC source said.
“We have managed to put together this new alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC. Saudi Arabia will not in any way act independently of its partners.”
Riyadh is working closely with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which holds the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries’ presidency in 2018 and non-OPEC producer Russia for “coordination and market consultations,” the OPEC source said.
He added that any action will be taken in coordination with all OPEC and non-OPEC partners, if needed.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Wednesday that OPEC will discuss a possible shortfall in global crude oil supplies following Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
"At the end of the month there is an OPEC meeting and these matters will be on the negotiations table," Luaibi said in response to a question from reporters on whether Iraq would plug the gap in supply expected from the reintroduction of sanctions on Iran's oil sales.
Trump said on Tuesday that the 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran in return for measures restricting its nuclear programme, did not go far enough in removing the threat posed by Tehran to the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East.
Luaibi said the matter was political and that he hoped it would not affect oil supplies from the Gulf.
"We hope the region will remain stable and I personally think this matter will not affect oil supplies from the Gulf," he said.
Oil prices are stable because of market stability, he said, because OPEC's goal "is not prices but market stability and lowering storage levels."
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