Oil Slips Below $80 On Rising US Stockpiles

A general view of the 4th Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress & Exhibition held in Tehran on Oct. 16 2018

A general view of the 4th Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress & Exhibition held in Tehran on Oct. 16 2018

By taking modestly less aggressive positions in the coming weeks, the US could distance itself from another example of aggressive Saudi policy and reduce USA dependence on the Saudis for stabilizing oil markets as Iranian exports are reduced.

Brent for December delivery fell 76 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $79.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Analysts with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are closely monitoring American output, warning members that rising US production could drive down oil prices.

US crude stocks gained 6.5 million barrels last week, the US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, the fourth straight weekly build and nearly three times what the analysts had forecast.

US lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership over the disappearance of the Saudi critic, suggesting sanctions could be possible.

Volume was above average on Wednesday, with more than 627,000 USA crude contracts changing hands, compared with a 10-month daily average of about 583,000 contracts. us crude was down 64 cents at $69.11.

"Stocks are rising in the United States, and the reason is because pipes out of the U.S. for exports are maxed out while USA production is rising", said Bjarne Schieldrop, Oslo-based chief commodities analyst at SEB AB.

"Ten to 20 percent of our daily volumes are trading in European and Asian hours. names that we never came across are now regulars", Johnson said, as quoted by Reuters.

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Moreover, the issue of the disappearance of the prominent Saudi critic and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has brought impact on the oil market activities as of late.

The gains were supported by U.S. -Saudi tensions after Trump pledged "severe punishment" should the kingdom be linked to Khashoggi's disappearance.

Undermining the strong refinery data, China did on Friday report its weakest economic growth since 2009 in the third quarter, with gross domestic product expanding by only 6.5 per cent, missing estimates.

In this context, the production cuts and embargo made an already tight market worse, sent oil prices surging, and produced a huge, short-term revenue windfall for Saudi Arabia and other oil producers.

Under the sanctions, the United States wants all countries in the world to stop importing oil from Iran.

The US dollar index that tracks the US dollar against a basket of the other currencies edged up 0.06 percent to 95.41 on Thursday and reached a fresh one-week high.

While Trump has repeatedly demanded that OPEC take action to lower oil prices, he referred to Saudi Arabia as its ally and reiterated to reporters on Wednesday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's government agreed to buy $110 billion in USA weaponry past year.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia pumped most of the extra oil, raising output by 524,000 bpd in September compared to May, the document showed.

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