Oil Prices Rising Ahead Of Iran Sanctions

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Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with US futures settling below $70 a barrel for the first time in a month, after USA crude stockpiles rose 6.5 million barrels, nearly triple what analysts had forecast, while exports dropped.

The West Texas Intermediate for November delivery dropped 2.17 US dollars to settle at 69.75 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for December delivery lost 1.36 dollars to 80.05 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

US oil production has increased steadily over the last five years, reaching a record high of 11.2 million bpd in the week to October 5.

The minister criticized Trump's recent interferences in the oil market, saying that the rise of oil prices has been a "self-inflicted pain" resulted from US sanctions against Iranian oil industry, and could be easily resolved by lifting the sanctions. Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of total needs. With last week's increase, USA crude stockpiles have risen for four straight weeks now.

Khashoggi is a columnist for The Washington Post, which reported Tuesday that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia with for talks with officials over the journalist's disappearance.

"If you combine the impact of US sanctions on Iran and the USA trade war with China, it is Trump's foreign policy which is reshaping oil flows", said Olivier Jakob, managing director of consultancy Petromatrix.

Meanwhile, new figures are out for US oil inventories.

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Pradhan said oil cartel OPEC has to ensure market stability that is beneficial to both consuming and producing countries.

Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers, but President Donald Trump's comments suggested that White House may not take additional action against the Saudis, particularly after Saudi Arabia said it will conduct an investigation.

"There's been a recent correlation between stocks and oil because the sentiment hitting equities markets has been reflecting concerns over the outlook for global growth", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. “That's easing most concerns that Saudi Arabia could use its oil exports as a weapon against potential foreign sanctions, though that risk was limited under any scenario.”.

While the impact of Hurricane Michael may be short-lived in the minds of oil traders, worries of tighter global production persisted, and extended beyond Iran.

The EIA report further said that gasoline stockpiles fell by 2 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles declined by 800,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, will release its weekly estimate of US crude inventories late Tuesday, while the EIA's more closely followed report will follow Wednesday morning.

Tom Kloza, longtime oil analyst at the Oil Information Service said the possible effect of the controversy on oil prices is on "everyone's radar" right now.

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