Economy

U.S. Oil Rig Count Inches Higher As WTI Pops

U.S. Oil Rig Count Inches Higher As WTI Pops”

Brent crude futures fell 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $77.11 per barrel by 0214 GMT from their last close.

Weighing on prices was a rise in U.S. crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA of 1.2 million barrels in the week to June 29, to 417.88 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.

However, crude oil is listed as a US product that will receive an import tariff at an unspecified later date.

The move came as Seoul started negotiations with Washington to seek authorizations over buying Iranian oil, in line with a waiver it received during previous sanctions, the report added.

American crude shipments to China now stand around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), worth $1 billion a month at current prices. There are about a million Iranians living in the USA, many with green cards, representing a wide pool of residents who can eventually become citizens. "I do expect that at least over the next few weeks, the Brent-WTI spread is going to narrow".

South Korea has suspended all buying of Iran crude and superlight crude, more commonly known as condensate after the US stepped up pressure on Iran crude buyers to stop importing its crude, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with developments.

Although Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have both said they would raise output to make up for these disruptions, FGE said "there simply is not enough capacity to make up for Iran's crude losses, plus Venezuela and Libya", and warned of the possibility of oil prices rising to $100 per barrel. The supply increase reversed some of the cuts that OPEC and other major producers put in place in early 2017 to end several years of supply glut.

The tightness at Cushing and the potential increase in Gulf exports "both have implications for how quickly the prompt overhang in the market can clear, and thus provide some direction for prices", Chauhan said.

In an early sign of future times, an executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group, an independent refiner from Shandong province, said his refinery had already cancelled USA crude orders. That blunted the impact of an escalating U.S.

Brent, meanwhile, was "still having difficulty gaining independent bullish traction", said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in a note, Reuters reported.

Oil markets opened cautiously lower on Friday ahead of a raft of import tariffs set to be imposed later in the day by the world's two biggest economies, the United States and China.

If that happens, "Chinese demand would then shift to other suppliers".

The concerns that oil prices will fall due to the US-China trade conflict have nearly disappeared. USA producers continued to bring more rigs into oilfields already producing at record levels.



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