The oil market has largely shrugged off the killing last month of Washington Post columnist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents. However, a new CIA assessment that reportedly links the slaying to the kingdom's crown prince could soon change that, according to a commodities strategist and former CIA analyst.
The assessment concludes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing, according to the Washington Post and NBC News.
The CIA is expected to present its report to President Donald Trump by Tuesday, just two weeks before major oil producers including OPEC and Russia meet in Vienna, Austria. The group has been coordinating oil policy since last year, and the members are now considering a fresh round of production cuts after a sharp pullback in the oil market.
New supply caps would boost oil prices and prevent financial pain in countries dependent on fossil fuel revenue, including Saudi Arabia. The kingdom expects to its crude shipments to drop by 500,000 barrels per day in December, and its energy minister recently said OPEC and its allies may cut output by about 1 million bpd next year.
But Trump, a populist focused on filling Americans' pocketbooks, opposes the output cuts because he wants prices to fall at U.S. gas stations.
@realDonaldTrump: Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!
Despite reportedly being shown evidence that links Khashoggi's death to Prince Mohammed, Trump continues to cast doubt on the royal's role in the slaying. The Trump administration is closely aligned with Prince Mohammed, and the president wants to preserve billions of dollars in potential arms sales to the Saudis.