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16 September 2018, 10:58 | Joann Bryant
Equinor's oil platform in Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the North Sea Thomson Reuters
Iranian oil exports have already fallen ahead of USA sanctions which come into force in November while production in Venezuela continues to decline.
This comes after the ICE launched its first set of derivatives linked to the West African crude oil market, aimed at an industry that has called for a strengthening of the dated Brent benchmark.
Still, fears over a supply crunch persisted, with Iran's output slumping by 150,000 barrels last month, according to Opec's monthly market report.
The latest forecast by IEA is that production by non-OPEC members will grow by over 2 million barrels daily during 2018 and by 1.8 million bpd during 2019, due to the non-stop growth in record output by the U.S.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), weaker demand in Europe, Asia, as well as higher gas prices in the US, put some downward pressure on the pace of demand growth, while shakiness in emerging markets over trade disputes and weakened currencies pose a risk to demand outlook for 2019.
The rise reflects concern about the impact of United States sanctions against Iran that will target oil exports.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lifted oil-price forecasts and lowered U.S. crude output expectations.
Further oil price increases could trigger a slowdown in domestic or global economic growth, which could further complicate the U.S.' Iran policy and Trump's domestic political situation.
"We think oil market fundamentals are increasingly supportive of crude prices, at least at current levels", said Gordon Gray, HSBC's global head of oil and gas equity research.
Brent crude futures traded at $79.20 a barrel while USA crude futures rose 61 cents to $69.86 a barrel. This news was being supported by the unknown, or the compliance with the USA sanctions on Iran.
Gasoline stocks rose 1.3 million barrels, slightly below analysts' expectations. "The situation in Venezuela could deteriorate even faster, strife could return to Libya and the 53 days to Nov 4 will reveal more decisions taken by countries and companies with respect to Iranian oil purchases", the IEA said, referring to the day United States sanctions on Iran take effect.
While some sanctions were implemented from August 6, those affecting Iran's petroleum sector take effect only from November 4.
The storm is expected to make landfall on the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and has caused fuel shortages as millions of households and businesses have evacuated.
The previous sanctions cut 1.22 million bpd of Iranian crude oil exports which averaged 1.1 million bpd between 2012 and 2015, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies data shows.
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