Indian refiners in no rush to seek alternatives to Iranian oil

Saudi Arabia ready to support oil market after US pullout from Iran deal

Saudi Arabia ready to support oil market after US pullout from Iran deal

"We will find the right way and at the right time to respond to this ..."

The oil price rose on Thursday and was set for its largest weekly increase in a month, as the market prepared for potential disruption to crude flows from major exporter Iran in the face of US sanctions.

The world's top oil exporter has previously said it wants nuclear technology only for peaceful uses, but has left unclear whether it also wants to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel, a process which can also be used in the production of atomic weapons.

The US President declared on May 8 that the country had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal due to it being "defective at its core", despite attempts by European Union countries to persuade him to keep the deal.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 42 cents at $71.56 a barrel.

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"The kingdom will work with major oil producers within and outside OPEC, and with major consumers as well to limit the impact of any shortages in supplies", the Saudi energy ministry said in a Saudi Press Agency statement late Tuesday.

"Even before the nuclear deal when the Iran regime was crippled with multilateral and unilateral economic sanctions, Tehran still continued to support militias, proxies and terrorist groups", Rafizadeh told Arab News.

For Saudi Arabia, that is "fine" because it means the return of sanctions and ratcheting up pressure on Iran in the region, including by Israel.

Oil prices are stable because of market stability, he said, because OPEC's goal "is not prices but market stability and lowering storage levels".

The outlines of that agreement remain unclear, and may not be entirely clear to Washington and Riyadh, but the understanding is vital to the successful implementation of sanctions.

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An official spokesman for the energy ministry said Tuesday that following the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia "would work with major producers within and outside OPEC, as well as major consumers to mitigate the impact of any potential supply shortages".

The Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran have long had tense relations, including backing opposing sides in Middle East conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq, in what many outside experts consider a de facto proxy war.

In theory, USA sanctions on Iran's oil industry will not be re-imposed for six months to give customers, traders and banks time to wind down their relationships in an orderly fashion.

"We have managed to put together this new alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC".

The other looming debacle is whether a United States pullout from the Iran deal could trigger a nuclear arms race.

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