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". China imported 1.1-million bpd from Saudi Arabia in the first quarter, down 5.7%, making the Kingdom the second biggest supplier behind Russian Federation.
Losing significant volumes of Iranian exports as a result of sanctions will worsen the existing under-supply in the market and cause inventories to decline even faster and prices to rise even higher. "Other countries may accept that, but here in Saudi Arabia we don't", he said. The interview was conducted before Trump said an announcement on Iran was imminent.
In any case, oil sanctions will kick in in about six months, by which time most Indian refiners "may have consumed most of their Iranian volumes", Ramachandran said.
"Following the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia is committed to supporting the stability of oil markets for the benefit of producers and consumers and the sustainability of the global economic growth", the official said. Yet, even in the case that Saudi Arabia keeps to its schedule, the USA nuclear industry could still play an important role. A decade ago, Iran' and Saudi Arabia's neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, pledged not to engage in any enrichment or reprocessing activities whether the materials and facilities were supplied by the United States or others.
It also remains uncertain as to how buyers of Iranian crude will respond to the USA decision.
The United States will likely re-impose sanctions against Iran after 180 days, unless some other agreement is reached.
"We have managed to put together this new alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC".
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who serves as Saudi defence minister, told CBS News in March that his country would "without a doubt" develop nuclear weapons if Iran did so. OPEC is due to meet in Vienna to go through continued policies to counter overproduction and values. Under such a situation, Iran may decide that its main reason for joining the deal, namely economic recovery through foreign investments, can not be achieved, and withdraw from the deal. "Political interference will disrupt the process of development and exchange in the market".