Oil edges back from big slump as Iran sanctions return to focus

As Geopolitics Over Crude Intensifies Energy-dependent India Could Be In For An Oil Shock

Oil rises above $80, Saudi Arabia plans output increase

Mr Falih said he would not rule out the possibility that Saudi Arabia would produce between one million and two million barrels per day (bpd) more than current levels in future. United States light crude CLc1 lost $1,77 a barrel to a low of $67,59 before recovering to $67,86, down $1,50. If US crude drops below US$65, a psychologically important figure, that could trigger further technical selling, traders said.

Brent crude futures were up 3 cents at $79.81 a barrel at 11:54 a.m. EDT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 15 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $68.97.

"It will become an open-ended agreement to continue to monitor and work together to stabilise the markets".

UBS analysts expect oil demand growth to slow to 1.2 million bpd in 2019, on higher oil prices and weaker economic growth, slightly above the long-term average, adding that demand is forecast to be flat in OECD countries, with China and India continuing to drive growth.

Barring any surprise supply disruptions, or renewed stock market volatility, the direction of the crude oil market today will likely be dictated by trader reaction to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly inventories report.

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Oil prices fell more than 2 percent yesterday after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed, reassuring investors ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran's crude exports that start next month.

In addition, the Saudi stock market has continued to incur "severe" losses for the second week in a raw.

"Iran might be pushing the idea of Russian Federation selling their oil on the world market to evade sanctions", a senior administration official told The Financial Times.

Saudi Arabia will separate its oil policy from politics, the country's oil minister Khalid al-Falih said.

The kingdom, which produces more than a tenth of global supplies, had vowed on Monday not to withhold its output as a political weapon amid the worldwide backlash over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The reassurances seem to have worked, with oil markets more focused on American crude stockpiles than the potential fraying of the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

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The Saudi minister expected demand for oil, which now stands at around 100 million bpd, to rise to 120 million bpd over the next three decades.

USA crude inventories probably rose 3.7 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. "So we have to use oil reserves", he said.

Falih said that with sanctions on Iran coming into full force next month, there was no guarantee oil prices would refrain from going higher.

Distillate inventories were down this week by 2.4 million barrels, compared to a larger expected draw of 1.927 million barrels.

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