Saudi Arabia initiated dialogue with key OPEC and non-OPEC producers on Thursday to ease oil market anxiety following the U.S.' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal which sparked fears of oil shortages.
Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, Khalid Al Falih, said he held telephone conversations with his counterparts in OPEC and non-OPEC countries to "coordinate global action to ease oil market anxiety".
"Energy Ministers contacted recently include those from #UAE, #USA, #RUSSIA, #India and #Korea," Falih tweeted in English.
The Saudi Arabian minister said he also talked to the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol "to reassure him of our commitment to the stability of oil markets and the global economy".
"I will contact others over the next few days before attending @SPIEF May 24-26 & continuing our discussions there," he added, referring to the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia.
The minister’s phone diplomacy came after international benchmark Brent crude oil Brent hit the $80 threshold on Thursday, largely driven by possible concerns in the Middle East amid the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which sparked huge protests in the region, as well as a potential output loss in Iran and Venezuela.
Venezuela's oil production declined by 41.70 thousand barrels per day, according to OPEC's latest report.
The price of Brent hitting $80 a barrel this week is the highest seen since 2014.
Last Wednesday, a spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry said Riyadh remained committed to supporting the stability of oil markets amid the U.S. decision the previous day to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
According to a report by the official Saudi Press Agency, the spokesman said Saudi Arabia would continue to support market stability "for the benefit of producers and customers alike", and was also committed to sustaining global economic growth.
He added that the kingdom would "work with major producers within and outside OPEC as well as major consumers to mitigate the impact of any potential supply shortages".
Bucking pressure from the U.S.' closest European allies, President Donald Trump on May 8 pulled the U.S. out of the landmark nuclear agreement that world powers struck in 2015 with Iran.
Trump also opted not to extend sanctions relief on Iran ahead of a May 12 deadline, vowing instead to re-impose nuclear-related economic penalties.
The 2015 nuclear accord placed unprecedented restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions, but Trump has consistently railed against it since he began his bid for America's highest office, repeatedly claiming it is the "worst deal" he has ever seen.
All of the U.S.' negotiating partners -- the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU -- agree that maintaining the accord is the best way to rein in Iran's nuclear program.
By Hale Turkes