Crude oil futures volatile Friday amid investor risk concerns

Crude Oil

Brent for December settlement rose 54 cents to $77.43 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

In equity markets, the S&P 500 Index is set for the worst monthly decline since 2011 on concerns over global economic growth and sluggish corporate earnings.

However, there is an important distinction when it comes to Saudi Arabia. After the United States unilaterally walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, China remained the only certain meaningful customer of Iran capable of ignoring USA sanctions and retaliation measures.

Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor said on Thursday the oil market could face oversupply in the fourth quarter.

Investors will also be paying close attention to USA sanctions on Iranian crude exports, due to kick in from November 4. What makes the comments confusing, however, is the fact they come on the heels of earlier statements by Falih that Saudi Arabia is ready to increase production to up to 12 million bpd and invest in boosting its spare capacity.

USA crude oil stockpiles rose last week for the fifth consecutive week, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said this week.

Mohammadbagher Forough, a research associate at the Clingendael Institute and assistant professor of International Relations at Leiden University explained to Qantara.de that the US sanctions against Iran are a flawless economic and energy opportunity for China for three reasons.

Journalist Khashoggi's body found at Saudi consul general's residence: Turkish leader
The Saudi regime has consistently changed its story on the October 2 death of The Washington Post contributing columnist. The 15 Saudis convened at the consulate about an hour before Khashoggi was due to arrive, the president said.

"I don't rule out that the Kingdom's production, which has been 9-10 (million barrels per day) over the last decade or so, will be a million to two million (barrels) higher", the energy minister told the Saudi Gazette just this Tuesday.

If U.S. production fails to grow at recent rates, it is far from clear that the world's two other oil superpowers, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, can pick up the slack.

Economic uncertainty and the woes of the Asian stock market unsettled the oil price this week to the downside.

USA light crude was up 40 cents at $67.22 after touching an intraday low of $65.99, down 83 cents.

Financial markets have been hit hard by a range of worries, including the U.S. "If we're not careful, we could have a repeat of 2008 when oil prices started at $90 a barrel, went up to $140 and ended around $30", he said. "It can be seen that Iran's oil export will decrease more than %50 in contrast to post nuclear agreement".

But if oil demand continues to rise-and Iranian exports are curtailed-prices could rise dramatically.

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