Oil up on upcoming Iran sanctions

Crude oil is dispensed into a bottle in this illustration

Oil prices extended gains into a fourth session on Wednesday, buoyed as industry data showed a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories and as geopolitical tensions over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist stoked supply worries.

Global benchmark Brent crude for December delivery rose 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $80.87 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery was up 5 cents at $71.83 a barrel.

The curbs on Iran are having an effect on oil prices, with global benchmark Brent trading now trading near its highest level in four years.

"It is important for India to get some barrels of crude from Iran otherwise if Saudi and major producers are not able to jack up their production, it will impact prices", he said.

In other oil-related news, a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration on Monday projected crude output from seven major us shale plays would rise 98,000 barrels a day in November to 7.714 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia stands committed to meeting all of India's energy needs, especially in oil, its Energy Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih said on Monday.

What could the current uncertainty surrounding U.S. -Saudi relations mean for oil and gasoline prices?

Tensions over Saudi Arabia have eased as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the kingdom promised a "transparent investigation" into the disappearance and alleged killing of a prominent journalist.

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That was what he did to ease the tension when doing such work, the official said, describing the contents of the audio recording. Khashoggi entered the consulate to collect some papers before his forthcoming marriage with his fiancée waiting outside.

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USA lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership, suggesting sanctions could be possible.

However, the physical side of the crude oil market tells a more relaxed story, with some signs that the loss of Iranian barrels is so far being adequately compensated.

The United States announced new sanctions after withdrawing from a nuclear deal with Iran in May.

"The pattern of trade does look as though it's going to ebb away from a focus on China to other Asian countries, and Europe", said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Since the oil embargo of the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has avoided threats to use its "oil weapon" in diplomatic affairs, insisting that it favors stable markets and separates oil and politics.

State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran next month when USA sanctions on Tehran are due to take effect, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday.

Oman was the talk of one of the oil market's biggest gatherings last month, as its crude surged past $90 a barrel.

The EIA report on Wednesday showed that crude stockpiles rose 6.49 MMbl last week, while inventories at the Cushing, Okla., complex climbed by 1.78 MMbl.

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