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Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naeimi. Photo: Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

Crude oil prices are up Monday after the weekend's escalating rhetoric between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance — and apparent killing — of Jamal Khashoggi.

Between the lines: Traders don't appear convinced at this point that the rupture will cause major upheaval in oil flows. Prices for the benchmark Brent crude are higher but they're not soaring.

  • At the time of publishing, prices were up 44 cents for WTI and 81 cents for Brent.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia is the world's largest crude oil exporter and, along with the U.S. and Russia, one of the world's biggest producers. Any Saudi effort to use oil as a geopolitical weapon would rattle global oil markets and put sharp upward pressure on prices that are already near four-year-highs.

Driving the news: Over the weekend President Trump said there would be "severe punishment" if the Saudis killed Khashoggi.

  • In response, the Saudi's released a statement warning, "if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy."
  • And on Sunday, the general manager of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News Channel, Turki Aldakhil, published a column warning that U.S. sanctions could send oil prices to $100 per barrel, $200 or even higher.

The latest: In remarks in India this morning, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih emphasized the kingdom's role as a reliable global supplier.

  • However, he also said that absent the Saudis' development and deployment of their spare production capacity, prices would be in the triple digits.
  • “We expect and demand that Saudi Arabia’s efforts be appreciated and acknowledged,” al-Falih said at an livestreamed energy conference there.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

McCarthy jokes about hitting Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker, in new audio

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can be heard saying "it would be hard not to hit" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans retake the House in 2022 and he becomes speaker, according to new audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments during a fundraising event in Tennessee, as he was handed an oversized gavel by members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports CNN.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran for drone strike on oil tanker

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Photo: Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, now believe Iran was likely responsible for last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Arabian sea.

Why it matters: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the July 29 attack off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied involvement.

10 hours ago - Sports

Suni Lee wins bronze medal in uneven bars

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee won her 3rd Olympic medal on Sunday, taking home bronze in the individual uneven bars event.

Driving the news: Also on Sunday, U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner won the silver medal in the vault on Sunday after stepping in for Simone Biles, who withdrew from the event to prioritize her mental health and well-being.