Oil headed for the longest run of weekly gains since the start of 2018. "Well, probably to some extent he's right, but we are absolutely OK with it at $65 to $75 per barrel to ensure the efficient operation of oil companies and ensure investment", Putin told delegates at the Russia Energy Week forum in Moscow.
Futures climbed as much as 0.9 percent in NY on Friday.
In a desperate bid to avoid being blamed for $100 oil, Trump tried bullying OPEC producers to boost production levels to prevent further price hikes ahead of the US mid-term elections in early November. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the kingdom is boosting production and will supply needy refiners. "Iranian crude oil has been sold at a lower price than other crude oil to expand its market share after the USA sanctions on Iran", said an official of the oil refinery industry.
Despite communications between policymakers in the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to synchronize output increases with the re-introduction of sanctions there seem to have been a series of misunderstandings.
The impact of lopsided positioning on the evolution of prices has been explored by researchers including the physicist Didier Sornette ("Why stock markets crash: critical events in complex financial systems", 2017).
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Iranian production has already begun to suffer in advance of the sanctions, falling to 3.6 million b/d in August, the lowest in more than two years, according to Platts data.
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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 1 cent to settle at $74.34 a barrel.
Brent for December settlement declined $1.71 to close at $84.58 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Hedge funds cut their combined futures and options position in NY and London by 13,459 contracts to 333,109 in the week to October 2, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$9.96 premium to WTI for the same month. As Iran's customers cut purchases and Venezuela's industry struggled, trading giant Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. said last month Brent may spike over $100 in the fourth quarter and Trafigura Group expects it in early 2019.
Oil prices remain at four-year highs on rising doubts about the capability of Saudi Arabia and other producers to substitute Iran's crude after the USA imposes new sanctions on the country on November 4. Rising costs and pipeline bottlenecks in the nation's largest oil field have hindered new drilling since June. To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Robinson in NY at email@example.com. All comments are subject to editorial review.