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09 July 2018, 11:49 | Joann Bryant
Oil Prices Up on Weak US Crude Inventory
US crude CLc1 was down 25 cents at $73.55.
Oil prices gained on Monday following the data last week that showed U.S. crude inventories slumped to their lowest in as long as three years.
The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago as energy companies have ramped up production in response to higher prices.
In other news, Iran's oil minister accused Trump over the weekend of insulting OPEC by ordering it to boost production and lower down prices.
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.
Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was down 19 cents at $77.20 a barrel by 0910 GMT.
India is also facing US pressure, and despite an official stance that it will continue buying Iranian crude, some large buyers are already winding down imports on fears their access to American bank financing will be closed if they violate the sanctions.
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.
Earlier this month, Reuters also reported that South Korea had upped crude oil imports from Kazakhstan, already looking for alternative supplies as the November 4 deadline for the sanctions draws nearer.
"As South Korea's economy heavily relies on trade, it won't be good for South Korea if the global economic slowdown happens because of a trade dispute between U.S and China", said Lee Dal-seok, senior researcher at the Korea Energy Economic Institute (KEEI).
An executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group said he expected Beijing to soon impose the tariff on US oil imports.
Oil prices rose on Monday as investors focused on tight market conditions after data late last week showed USA crude inventories fell to their lowest in more than three years.
Concerns that oil prices will be weighed down by a trade conflict between the United States and China have faded to some extent, analysts said.
On Thursday, an executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group said he expected Beijing to soon impose the tariff on USA oil imports.
-Chinese trade war and increased production by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation pulled against concerns over supply disruptions from Venezuela and Libya as well as the looming sanctions on Iran.
South Korea is reported to have stopped importing Iran's oil and condensate in what appears to be a temporary halt until the country obtains an exemption from U.S. curbs on buying Iranian oil.
FGE said the US government may grant some waivers to allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies and that some Iranian oil would also be smuggled into global markets. South Korea, a major buyer of Iranian oil and condensate, will not lift any Iranian oil in July for the first time since August 2012, three sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Top exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month, OPEC sources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices.
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