Donald Trump's plan of isolating Iran is quite likely to backfire

Saudi concerned about tight spare oil capacity - Mr Falih

Saudi Arabia has said it will take all necessary measures to prevent oil supply shortages following the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The latest salvo came a day after US President Donald Trump exited the Iran nuclear agreement, which he criticised for excluding measures to curb Tehran's ballistic missile programme.

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". The harsher approach by the United States could result in an initial loss of about 500,000 barrels a day (bpd) in Iran's output, which is now 3.8 million bpd.

This would make the United States the world's largest producer, ahead of both Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

M.K. Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum, said refiners may use that time to step up purchases from Iran.

"He is supporting us not because we are Saudi Arabia or because we have oil, but because he thinks we are right", said Mohammed, another Saudi businessman.

That raised worries of a quick rise in oil prices.

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

This fact has been at the heart of Western and regional concerns over the nuclear work of Iran, Saudi Arabia's arch-rival which enriches uranium domestically.

US shale producers could also increase their output but it would take time and their light crude is not a good substitute for heavier Iranian oil.

Saudi Arabia has expressed support for the USA pulling out of the nuclear deal, saying it did not adequately address Iran's behavior in the region.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a trade and transport boycott on Qatar in June, accusing it of financing militant groups and cosying up to Iran - charges it denies. "We have long said that this issue, though important, was not the only one that should be monitored".

"Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible", bin Salman said.

Benchmark US crude is up US74¢, more than one per cent, to $US70.46 a barrel on the futures market in NY. "And it is a clear example of Middle East brinkmanship that runs counter to what President Barack Obama intended when the nuclear deal was struck in July 2015". "Political interference will disrupt the process of development and exchange in the market".

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