Saudi Arabia has 'no intention' to launch 1973-style oil embargo: minister

Saudi Arabia has 'no intention' to launch 1973-style oil embargo: minister
The comments come after US lawmakers threatened sanctions against ally Riyadh for its killing of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
2 min read
22 October, 2018
Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih in St Petersburg [Getty]
Saudi Arabia's energy minister said the kingdom had no plan to unleash a 1973-style oil embargo, as fallout from Riyadh's killing of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi widens. 

“There is no intention,” said Khalid al-Falih, to Russia's TASS news agency.

US lawmakers have charged de facto leader and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering Khashoggi's death.

US lawmakers have also floated the idea of imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia while the kingdom pledged to retailiate with "bigger measures".

“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih said.

He added that higher brent crude prices would trigger a global recession, and cautioned prices could rise as the second set of US sanctions targeting Iran come into force on 4 November.

“I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih said, when discussing Iran and if prices could rise again above $100 a barrel. 

Falih said Saudi Arabia would rise oil output slightly to 11 million, shy of its 12 million barrel per day production capacity.

US President Donald Trump has frequently called on Saudi Arabia to boost production to lower oil prices, which are believed to hope his GOP chances ahead of US midterm elections. 

Khashoggi vanished on 2 October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.

After a fortnight of denials, Saudi authorities admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed.

But it has faced a growing chorus of incredulity over its belated explanation that he died in a "brawl", as world powers demand answers and the whereabouts of his body.

Turkish media has for weeks maintained that a 15-person assassination squad arrived in Istanbul and cut off Khashoggi's fingers, decapitated him and dismembered his body before flying out of Istanbul on 2 October.

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