Oil rises as U.S. renew sanctions against Iran

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Also weighing on prices on Wednesday was data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that market participants described as bearish. The sanctions did not include Iran's oil exports.

Additionally, last week, energy information provider Genscape issued a report that suggested crude oil stockpiles at the USA storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma fell in the latest week.

In Iran, America's first round of sanctions hit on 7 August and a second, tougher set targeting oil sales, will take effect on 5 November.

European officials have said their governments are considering opening accounts for Iran at their national banks, which could receive oil payments.

US crude futures fell more than $1 per barrel to $68.13 after China said it was retaliating against USA tariffs by slapping additional import duties of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of USA goods, including oil and diesel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 29 cents at $69.30 a barrel, down from am earlier high of $69.83.

The main oil market price drivers of recent months have been output levels by top producers Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, renewed Iran sanctions, the US-China trade dispute, and unplanned supply disruptions.

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The U.S. has restored sanctions against Iran as as President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to impose more penalties on the country's oil sales in November.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country opposes sanctions on Iran, but will abide by them to protect its own interests.

Observers have dismissed Trump's call for Saudi Arabia to abruptly increase oil production as political "noise".

Oil is being supported this week after Saudi crude production unexpectedly fell in July and USA drilling appeared to slow.

In terms of production, the EIA on Tuesday slightly cut its 2018 expectation for average 2018 US crude output to 10.69 million bpd, down from its previous estimate of 10.79 million bpd.

"Without the extra Saudi oil we had in June, it's hard to crunch the numbers and get a lower price going into the end of the year", said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

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The total exported quantities of Oman crude oil during July 2018 has reached 24.08 million barrels, with a daily average of 776,800 barrels.

Market participants will look for signals on United States inventory levels from a preliminary report due for release by the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday. This represents around a third of global oil demand.

Much of the northern hemisphere has been gripped by extreme heat this summer, pushing up demand for industrial and residential cooling. In addition to crude oil and liquified natural gas, other listed products include diesel, coal, chemicals, cars, steel products and medical equipment.

"With global demand remaining healthy and the global heatwave increasing oil demand, I think prices will remain well-supported in the near term", Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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