US Oil Prices Tumble To Their Lowest In Over A Year As Trump Defends ‘Steadfast Ally’ Saudi ArabiaDonald Trump with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US oil prices dipped to their lowest level in more than a year after US President Trump strongly defended the country's ties with the Saudi Arabian government, The Wall Street Journal reported.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended the session down $3.77, or 6.6 per cent, at $53.43 per barrel. Brent, the international benchmark, fell by 6.4 per cent to $62.53. The international benchmark fell as much as 7.6 per cent to $61.71 during the session, the lowest since December 2017.

In an unconventional statement titled ‘America First’, Trump underscored the criticality of Saudi Arabia to the global oil supply chain.

“After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world”.

“As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!”, Trump was quoted as saying.

Trump has also firmly reiterated that he will not allow the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to jeopardise his country’s strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia. Trump argued that the kingdom’s strategic importance far outweighs the “horrible crime” perpetrated against Khashoggi.

Trump’s outreach to Saudi Arabia is seen as an attempt to dissuade it from cutting production following a December meeting among OPEC and non-OPEC members.

Market observers see further downside risk to oil prices thanks to a combination of growing US shale production and a deteriorating economic outlook.

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