In the last quarter of 2014, in the face of possible oversupply, Saudi Arabia abandoned its traditional role as the global oil market's swing producer and therefore it role as unofficial guarantor of existing ($100+ per barrel) prices.
For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it had no choice but to set its sights on the ultimate prize: the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the highest price in three days before supply data that will signal the strength of fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent in London was steady.
Brent crude rose on speculation that threats to supply mean recent losses were excessive, while West Texas Intermediate declined, pushing the North Sea grade’s premium to the U.S. benchmark to the widest in a week.