• Sources close the royal court in Saudi Arabia
• High-level Egyptian energy industry sources
• Former Egyptian intelligence source
• Diplomatic sources in UAE
SANCTIONS & SAUDI
OPEC and Russia are set to discuss oil production cuts again, less than a month after both Alexander Novak and Khalid al-Falih assured markets they will ramp up production to offset any supply losses after U.S. sanctions against Iran came into effect.
Conflicting signals demonstrate a new level of uncertainty in global oil. After dozens of media reports claimed that Iranian oil exports had been falling sharply and steadily, data now suggests the fall has been less steep—a fact immediately weighing on oil prices.
In this context, just months after some fund managers and analysts warned Brent could hit $100 or higher by the end of the year, it now seems a decline back to $70 a barrel is far more likely.
The imposition of sanctions against Iran and those who do business with Iran has had a very limited impact on oil prices, due in large part to strong output from the U.S. and Russia. Sources close to the Saudi royal court say Mohammed bin Salman is also ramping up capacity, although geopolitical tensions over the death of Khashoggi may end up impacting Saudi Arabia’s cooperation with the U.S. on that front. So far, the tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia over the incident haven't had any ramifications in…