Saudi Arabia to Throttle down the World`s Oil Supply it Threatened

On Sunday. in an abrupt reversal from its recent announcement of increased oil exports. the administration of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman made an oblique reference to the kingdom`s ability to throttle down the world`s oil supply if threatened. 

Just last week. Prince Bin Salman emphasized his willingness to boost oil exports to offset the drop in supply from Iran. which faces renewed U.S. sanctions. In a recent interview. Bin Salman said that Riyadh has more than accommodated U.S. President Donald Trump`s request for help to keep the global supply flowing. and it now exports `as much as two barrels for any one barrel that disappeared from Iran recently.` 

However. on Sunday. President Trump threatened to impose `severe punishment` if Saudi officials were found responsible for the recent alleged murder of U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi embassy in Turkey. Turkish intelligence sources assert that over a dozen Saudi agents entered the country to carry out the act. and they claim to have video and audio of the crime itself to prove the allegation. The United States has called for the Saudi government to investigate. but Bin Salman denies any involvement. 

The Saudi state news outlet SPA said Sunday that the kingdom will respond to any international penalties over Khashoggi`s alleged execution with `stronger ones.`

`The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action. it will respond with greater action. and that the Kingdom`s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy.` wrote SPA. quoting a senior official. The latter half of the warning likely refers to Saudi oil exports. as these make up the overwhelming majority of the Kingdom`s participation in the global economy. 

Saudi Arabia is the world`s largest oil exporter. providing about nine million barrels per day of export volume (compared to about eight million bpd from the United States). It is also the world`s swing supplier. with the largest ability to surge capacity when needed to stabilize prices. This dual role gives it tremendous influence in the world`s oil markets – an influence it used to great effect in the 1970s. when it throttled back exports to the United States in response to America`s support for Israel. This creating shortages. lines at gas stations and soaring fuel prices. and consumers responded by improving fuel economy. 

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