U.S futures were up 31 cents at $71.88 a barrel. Ten thousand people have been killed and millions displaced, and it might lead to the worst starvation in a century. The Saudi kingdom has stated that it would respond with greater action, if it receives any action from the U.S. Washington should take the opportunity to undo this terrible complicity by withdrawing logistical and intelligence support. The fall comes at a time when the demand growth slows despite concerns that renewed USA sanctions on Iran's oil industry from November could tighten up supplies.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with USA futures settling below $70 a barrel for the first time in a month, after United States crude stockpiles rose 6.5 million barrels, nearly triple what analysts had forecast, while exports dropped.
As the USA sanctions on Iran loom, the panic in the market over the loss of Iranian crude is increasing.
Global oil prices are falling as well, dropping over $8 per barrel during the last three weeks, driven lower by stock market turmoil and concerns that the trade wars could slow global economic activity.
More than 20 million barrels of oil have been shipped to Dalian by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Reuters reports, citing an unnamed Iranian shipping source. "America thinks Saudi Arabia can replace this oil".
For decades Saudi Arabia has been a byword for political stability and conservatism, which made it into a reliable source of energy to global markets.
Wielding the oil weapon to pressure the United States would impose bigger costs on China and India, which are the largest and fastest-growing oil importers and crucial markets for the future.
More seriously for Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil producers, the surge in prices, which rose again after the Iranian revolution in 1979, resulted in permanent demand destruction and encouragement of alternative suppliers.
Analysts say the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partner Russian Federation appear unlikely at this point to respond immediately to Trump's demands, while U.S energy secretary Rick Perry has also ruled out using US strategic crude reserves as a means of lowering the price.
The Saudis have more than offset the declines in Iranian exports so far, with Iranian exports down by around 700,000 barrels a day in October compared with July, while Saudi production stands near 10.7 million barrels a day, noted Jason Gammel, equity analyst at Jefferies, in a Friday note.
Rising supplies, particularly at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery hub for WTI, pushed the market into contango, in which nearby prices trade lower than forward prices.
In part, the improved supply picture has come about because the surge in oil prices during August and September forced both the White House and Saudi Arabia to adapt their positions.