Oil drops as investors fret about how trade war will affect demand

Iran OPEC chief: 'Saudi and Russia are taking oil market hostage'

Iran OPEC chief: 'Saudi and Russia are taking oil market hostage'

Oil consumption is "robust", but crude use "is beginning to face some headwinds", he said Sunday in an interview in Dubai, without elaborating.

“Investors are now assessing the Saudis' mixed message on oil prices versus its earlier pledge to increase output, ” said Hong Sungki, a commodities trader at NH Investment & Securities Co.in Seoul.

As the market evaluates the impact of sanctions on Iran, a growing trade dispute between the U.S. and China has the potential to weigh on demand.

In comments published Saturday, a senior Iranian official said that OPEC has "not much credit" left as some members are turning it into "a tool for the U.S.".

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to announce new tariffs on about $200 billion on Chinese imports as early yesterday, a senior administration official told Reuters on Saturday.

Iran's crude exports are already falling as the US prepares to curb Tehran's ability to sell oil and participate in global financial markets.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 15 cents, or 0.22 percent, at $68.76 per barrel.

Miami Heat Have High Interest in Trading for Jimmy Butler
Wiggins, meanwhile, has been said to be bothered by being relegated to the team's third offensive option behind Butler and Towns. Those questions won't stop until the season ends - or until the Timberwolves answer them with actions.

Bloomberg reported that while Saudi Arabia had no desire to push prices higher than $80, it may no longer be possible to avoid it. USA sanctions affecting Iran's petroleum sector are due to come into force from November 4.

The warning came from the group's top official as looming unilateral US sanctions on oil sales by Iran, OPEC's third-biggest supplier, are scheduled to take effect on November 4.

However, potential supply cuts caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, the third-largest producer among the members of oil cartel Opec, are providing some support for oil prices.

The Saudi crude oil inventories have been dropping for three years, and have declined by 11.4 percent since May 2017, according to JODI data, as carried by Platts. In the last two weeks, Al-Falih has met his counterparts from Russian Federation and the U.S., Alexander Novak and Rick Perry, to discuss the oil market and the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranian petroleum exports.

This expected increase follows higher forecast annual crude oil prices in 2018 and more than offsets slightly lower crude oil production from OPEC members in 2018.

Reuters reported on September 5 that Saudi Arabia wants oil to stay between $70 and $80 a barrel to keep a balance between maximising revenue and keeping a lid on prices until USA congressional elections.

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