WTI near $68 as Iran sanctions bite into supply | Markets & Investment

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Oil prices were steady on Wednesday as concerns that producers will not be able to respond to a shortfall in supply once US sanctions on Iran are enacted outweighed a gain in stockpiles in the United States, the world's biggest oil user.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for November delivery dropped 0.45% to $68.37 a barrel at 10:47PM ET (02:47 GMT), while Brent Oil Futures for November delivery also went down 0.63% to $77.56 per barrel.

USA crude futures (CLc1) were down 6 cents at $69.79, after gaining 1.4 percent the day before.

"Saudi Arabia and the UAE are turning OPEC into a tool for the United States and consequently the organization has not much credit left", Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told the Shana newswire, affiliated to Iran's Oil Ministry.

Meanwhile, oil output from seven major U.S. shale formations is expected to rise by 79,000 barrels per day to 7.6 million bpd in October, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, including the world's biggest producer Russian Federation, are meeting on September 23 in Algiers, Algeria, to discuss how they can allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of Iranian oil supply.

Prices pared gains in post-settlement trade after data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed USA crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to September 14 to 397.1 million, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

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Iranian crude oil export loadings have declined by 580,000 bpd in the past three months, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a note to clients.

Cementing that arrangement would be one of the topics of discussion as OPEC meets this Sunday in Algeria, he added.

There are signs, however, that Saudi Arabian exports did not increase in July.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last week in Moscow that he did not foresee any price spikes once sanctions came into effect, and was positive about Saudi output.

US President Donald Trump called for OPEC members, primarily US ally Saudi Arabia, to raise their production, and warned importers to stop buying oil from Iran or face American sanctions.

Oil in NY has topped $71 a barrel this month and Brent hit $80 as Iranian sanctions threaten to further cut into available supply, overshadowing concerns over U.S.

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