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LONDON. — Oil prices fell more than 2 percent yesterday after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed, reassuring investors ahead of US sanctions on Iran’s crude exports that start next month.
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 dropped $2,03 a barrel to a low of $77,80, down 2,5 percent at a one-month low and beneath its 50-day moving average for the first time in two months. US light crude CLc1 lost $1,77 a barrel to a low of $67,59 before recovering to $67,86, down $1,50.
“Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has dealt a fresh heap of bearish fodder onto the energy complex,” said PVM Oil analyst Stephen Brennock.
US sanctions on Iranian oil begin on November 4 and Washington has said it wants to stop all of Tehran’s fuel exports, but other oil producers are pumping more to fill any supply gaps.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told a conference in Riyadh yesterday the oil market was in a “good place” and he hoped oil producers would sign a deal in December to extend co-operation to monitor and stabilise the market.
“We will decide if there are any disruptions from supply, especially with the Iran sanctions looming.
“Then we will continue with the mindset we have now, which is to meet any demand that materialises to ensure customers are satisfied,” Falih said.
Falih said he would not rule out the possibility that Saudi Arabia would produce between 1 and 2 million barrels per day (bpd) more than current levels in future. The chief executive of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, said it would take the kingdom only three months to reach its maximum production capacity of 12 million bpd if needed.