Oil surrendered most of its early gains after tensions appeared to ease between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia amid growing international outrage over the disappearance of one of the kingdom’s most prominent critics.

Oil futures earlier rose almost 2% as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia traded barbs over the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump then suggested “rogue killers” may have been responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance, dialing back a dispute that threatened to strain relations between the world’s biggest economy and its largest oil exporter.

Before his Monday phone conversation with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Trump had promised “ severe punishment” should the kingdom be proved responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance in the Turkish capital. In response, the Saudis threatened to use their economic might to retaliate.

West Texas Intermediate for November was little changed at $71.46/bbl at 11:34 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for December settlement rose 5 cents to $80.48 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.27 premium to WTI for the same month.

Source: World Oil