Sanctions spell the end of OPEC output deal: Kemp

Colourful and oozing defiance a sports-friendly version of the abaya gown was once considered a symbol of cultural rebellion in conservative Saudi Arabia but it is

Saudi women jog in the streets of Jeddah's historic Al Balad on March 8 without their abayas. Amer Hilabi AFP

NEW YORK, May 9 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday, after climbing to fresh 3-1/2 year highs, after a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S oil inventories extended gains from the United States' decision to quit a nuclear deal with Iran.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that the United State would "exit the Iran deal", and warned that "any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could be strongly sanctioned".

He added the kingdom "remains committed to supporting the stability of oil markets for the benefit of producers and consumers alike, and for sustaining growth in global economy". That figure has since soared to 2.5 million bpd.

According to President Trump's announcement yesterday, the United States will now reimpose stringent sanctions on Iran and is considering new penalties.

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"I think with Iran, the additional unknown, they'll have to wait and see over the next 180 days who orders what, what in the order book gets cut down", said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center.

Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source in OPEC, that Riyadh is looking into possibilities of filling the likely gap in oil production consequent to the resumption of USA sanctions against Tehran.

Worries over potential supply disruptions have already caused oil prices to spike.

USA politicians will want to avoid being blamed for a further escalation in the run up to congressional elections in November.

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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.

Assuming the US sanctions are effective in curbing Iran's crude exports, Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies will have to raise their production to make up the shortfall, or risk being blamed for a further rise in motoring costs. The JCPOA is working - that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense.

"I am in close contact with OPEC 's presidency, Russian Federation and the U.S., and will be connecting with other producers and major consumers over the next few days to ensure market stability", he added. OPEC is due to meet in Vienna to go through continued policies to counter overproduction and values. "Political interference will disrupt the process of development and exchange in the market".

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