Oil falls on US shale output

Representative Image

The increase in United States crude oil stocks worked to push the price of oil lower, as it showed a larger-than-expected rise at a time when fears are rising that oil stocks will decline in the coming months, once the November implementation of the USA sanctions on Iranian oil exports is fully in place.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 15 cents at $81.56 a barrel by 0735 GMT, after gaining $1.15 in the previous three sessions.

Oil prices hit a four-year high of $ 86.74 a barrel earlier this month as the market grapples with the expected loss of Iranian exports due to U.S. sanctions.

The Times of Israel reported that Iran also may have reached a deal with Russia last month to take delivery of Iranian crude oil and then refine it and sell it to global buyers, in yet another possible scheme to bypass US sanctions by "laundering" the oil through Russian markets.

That build in reported U.S. oil stocks, by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), came as a surprise following reports of a draw, by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of the total needs.

In WTI, wagers on falling prices have increased as USA inventories piled up, and concerns about constrained Permian takeaway capacity and the build-up of stocks have prevailed over the past few weeks.

The threats came in response to growing global and USA outrage with the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Turkey, and Riyadh's now admitted role in his disappearance, the Saudi government issued a strong statement warning other nations against imposing penalties.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" if it is found that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

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Saudi Arabia, of course, is a major oil producer.

Meanwhile, new figures are out for USA oil inventories.

Prices also got a boost after S&P Global Platts reported , citing sources close to the project, that talks between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait over two shared oil fields have broken down.

"The pattern of trade does look as though it's going to ebb away from a focus on China to other Asian countries, and Europe", said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Oman was the talk of one of the oil market's biggest gatherings last month, as its crude surged past $90 a barrel.

"There are signs the oil market is overheating", Deputy chief executive Vadim Yakovlev said.

Balancing the US data were reports that Iranian exports of crude oil may be falling faster than expected ahead of new USA sanctions on Tehran from November 4.

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