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Oil eases, but Iran sanctions keep Brent above US$80 a barrel

28 Septembre 2018

Brent crude oil prices fell slightly Wednesday but are still hovering near a four-year high while US crude oil supplies had a surprise increase.

Demand for consumer gasoline was 9.7 million barrels per day in August, down 0.8 percent from August 2017 but the third-highest demand for August since 1945.

Brent Crude oil is trading at $81.89, WTI at $72.36 and natural gas at $2.97 per million BTU (at 11:38, 27 September 2018, South Africa).

“Markets could still be underestimating the supply crunch from Iran sanctions, ” he added.

Expectation of a tightening supply in the global oil market in the coming months has pushed crude oil prices higher, say analysts.

The signal from OPEC members and top non-OPEC oil producers that they are in no rush to increase output aided oil's uptick.

“Oil prices remain in the Bulls domain amid concern that US sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports will result in much tighter physical market conditions once they take effect in November, ” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

However, the price rise is notably caused by a recent drop in Iran's supply because of USA sanctions.

"Any formal decision on oil output by the producer group, barring an extraordinary meeting, will only take place at the December meeting".

Crude futures in London and NY have advanced as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied countries indicated they intend to match output closely to demand.

Major oil trading houses fear the return of $100 crude oil in the upcoming three months.

Saudi Arabia leads OPEC oil cartel and Russian Federation is the biggest oil produces outside the group.

Specifically, al-Falih and OPEC's message was that OPEC will listen to President Trump's calls for increased oil production "if there is a need".

Citing a combination of factors, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has said that a "likelihood of an oil spike and crash scenario akin to the one observed in 2008 has increased".

Brent crude prices have gone up by around 22 per cent since the start of the year.

"Iran has the opportunity to channel oil through Iraq and they will still have some buyers in Asia". I think that if we can pull back to that level and find more support, it's assigned that we will eventually go much higher. Iranian crude oil is now trading at $72.02, roughly up by 1.72%.

CME's announcement comes after rival Intercontinental Exchange said in July it would offer a Houston crude futures contract.

Oil eases, but Iran sanctions keep Brent above US$80 a barrel