Oil Futures Rise Sharply On Rumor That Saudi King Abdullah Died
February 10, 2011: Michael Santo / Huliq.com – February 10, 2011
A report on the death of Saudi Arabian king Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz has fueled speculation, causing oil prices to rise despite denials of the king’s death.
The report came via the Islam Times. Its website, IslamTimes.org stated that King Abdullah has passed away after suffering a massive heart attack.
The report indicated that Adbullah’s death actually occurred yesterday, Wednesday.
According to the report, King Abdullah, 86, talked with U.S. President Barack Obama about the situation in Egypt on the phone on Wednesday. After what Islam Times reported to be a “heated debate,” the phone call ended with King Abdullah remaining “furious.” He then, according to the Times, suffered a sudden heart attack.
The report went further, stating that King Abdullah was pronounced dead, but that his death was not reported due to the “sensative conditions that exist in the region.” It added that “the Saudi Arabian government will reject this claim; but the ball is in their court to prove that he is alive. ”
It was confirmed that Obama did speak to King Abdullah on Wednesday,. The White House said, in a statement, “The president emphasised the importance of taking immediate steps toward an orderly transition that is meaningful, lasting, legitimate, and responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”
On Thursday, the government denied the reports, without offering substantial proof, as requested by the Islam Times. However, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz was in excellent condition and was undergoing therapy.
Prior to this report, it was known that King Abdullah had been resting in Morocco since January. This followed a two-month stay in the United States. There, he underwent surgery twice after a blood clot complicated a slipped disc.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: “I’d like to reassure you about the health of the king. He is in excellent shape. He is undergoing therapy as you know. Doctors are suggesting a certain amount of therapy. He is doing twice as much. They are suggesting a certain time for therapy. He is looking to cut it in half.”
Brent crude oil futures rose sharply on the news, as well as continued political tension in the Middle East. According to the Financial Post, ICE Brent rose 55 cents to US$102.37 a barrel at 1055 GMT, while U.S. crude for March slipped 21 cents to US$86.5 a barrel. The futures level is their highest in a week.
Much concern exists over possible succession to King Abdullah. According to WIkipedia, his designated successor is his half brother Crown Prince Sultan, who is 82. The apparent next in line is Sultan’s full brother, Prince Nayef, who is 76.
Obama Bows To Saudi King Abdullah
The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Is this the real reason for the Mubarak distraction in Egypt today? – SJH
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Written by Steven John Hibbs
February 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm
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