Brent crude firms on drop in US oil inventories, Iran threat

Outage in Alberta's oilsands is pushing U.S. crude to a four-year high

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's ambassador to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was quoted by media as saying that the world - and specifically American consumers - would eventually consider Trump blameworthy for runaway oil prices in worldwide markets. On the US's official day of independence (July 4), the President repeated a threat that OPEC nations should lower their oil prices in return for the security support they receive from the US.

"This must be a two way street", his latest statement read.

The US Energy Information Administration informed that commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels last week.

Oil was mixed on Friday, with short-covering pushing up USA crude futures while Brent slipped on global trade tensions and increased Saudi production.

He said Trump had in fact made the USA a hostage to Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia as a result of his campaign to undermine Iran's oil exports, stressing that the United States president should have expected this when he moved to block Iran's access to global markets.

Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade
Penalties are, he says, a set skill performed under huge pressure, that can be learned and conquered. "We have studied it". We are in this stadium, which has been built for four games, no cutting corners or looking for a second-level job.


On Saturday, Zanganeh accused Trump of "interfering" in OPEC affairs, saying that Trump's order to oil producing countries to raise output "is very insulting to the people of these countries and would undermine their national sovereignty and destabilize the oil market". The data surprised oil traders and sent prices lower.

Output cuts by OPEC and allies since January 2017 have reduced a crude glut. Trump's decision in May to pull out of the United Nations -backed nuclear agreement with Iran, meanwhile, means sanctions on the Iranian energy sector snap back into place in November. "Under these circumstances it is justified to argue for higher prices when production increases are announced", PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said, CNBC reported.

Brent crude futures were at $77.89 per barrel at 0830 GMT, down 35 cents. But oil experts say that OPEC is already close to its maximum capacity. While Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's oil sanctions on Iran and trade frictions with China are adding to uncertainties with planned USA tariffs on Chinese goods set to start Friday. That means there's a shrinking buffer to protect against the shocks like the eventual loss of Iranian oil or a hurricane in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

"Further declines in USA crude oil inventories and the significant outage in Libyan oil supply are helping to keep a floor under the market", said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London.

Oil prices have indeed been by Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and to impose sanctions blocking American and most European countries from doing business with Iran. S. oil has been 10 to 11 dollars.

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