In May, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which considers both Tehran and Moscow threats worthy of American sanctions, pulled out of the controversial Iran nuclear deal approved in July 2015 with Russia's help. According to tanker data compiled by Bloomberg, shipments dropped by just over a quarter million barrels per day in September to their lowest level since 2016.
In another sign the White House was stepping up pressure, White House national security adviser John Bolton and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law, spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman yesterday.
"Prices are continuing to rise and I think that proves the point that it is not the fundamentals of oil supply and demand that is behind this price increase", Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday during the conference.
Saudi Arabia had previously claimed it had successfully replaced Iranian crude oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions.
Price gains this week were limited by Saudi Arabia and Russia's saying they would raise output to at least partly make up for expected disruptions from Iran, OPEC's No. 3 producer, due to the US sanctions that take effect on November 4.
Photos have surfaced of a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent after the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.
The country's largest privately owned crude terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, said late on Tuesday it halted operations at its marine terminal. One of the officials said China may cut back by more than expected, while India remains a wild card. "We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!" Some of these sources say output fell further in September. "In terms of going forward, we're looking at an ever-shrinking pool of OPEC barrels. But if they don't have the barrels, they don't have the barrels". "We don't know if the waiver has happened or not, but the Indian companies have gone ahead and booked the order". MRPL replied "no comments" when contacted by email.
In the calls by Bolton, Kushner and Pompeo, she said, "they asked for more details and for the Saudi government to be transparent in the investigation process".
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, saying that trade policy tensions and rising import tariffs were taking a toll on commerce while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows.
Trade tensions and rising import tariffs are taking a toll on global commerce, while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows, the IMF said.