Oil pushes past $80 as Iran fears mount

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 14, 2018

US sanctions on Iran's energy industry, which come into force in November, have already cut supply back to two-year lows, while falling Venezuelan output and unplanned outages elsewhere will also keep the balance between supply and demand tight, the IEA said.

Brent crude futures traded at $79.20 a barrel while US crude futures rose 61 cents to $69.86 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $67.70 per barrel at 0637 GMT, up 65 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last settlement.

Prices extended gains in post-settlement trade after industry data from the American Petroleum Institute showed USA crude inventories slumped 8.6 million barrels last week, versus analysts' forecasts of a 805,000-barrel decrease. This comes amid the Iranian oil sanctions which are set to be imposed on November 4th, while the USA have also demanded nations to drop Iranian imports to zero.

But the U.S. government does not want to push up oil prices, which could depress economic activity or even trigger a slowdown in global growth.

US Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, met Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, on Monday in Washington, as the Trump administration encourages big oil-producing countries to keep output high.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said global oil markets were fragile due to geopolitical risks and supply disruptions.

Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia are the world's three biggest oil producers by far, meeting around a third of the world's nearly 100 million barrels per day of daily crude consumption.

Earlier today, according to the Russian news agency, TASS, Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the OPEC and its allies could sign a new long-term cooperation deal when they meet in early December and added that output quotes could remain in place after 2018. Novak did not provide details.

Short-term, the outlook is for tighter supply.

World oil consumption will top 100 million barrels per day (bpd) in the next three months, putting upward pressure on prices, although emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent this demand, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

China has said that it would not stop buying Iranian oil, but Beijing is also said to have agreed not to increase its oil purchases from Iran.

The United States and China have imposed a series of tariffs on each other's goods since May that have unnerved equity markets, while a rising USA dollar has put emerging market currencies under pressure, raising the energy bill for some of the world's largest oil importers.

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