Oil Trades Below $70 as Stockpile Gain Counters U.S.-Saudi Row

Asia markets

Iran blamed US for the growing instability of the oil market and criticized its position of force under the pretext of reducing prices.

Those dealing with ship insurance and oil-ports are also cautious about handling Iranian oil.

According to the holder, the United States "wrongly" urges the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce the "black gold" prices, when in fact the cause of the turbulence in the market comes from the North American intervention.

U.S. crude stocks rose 6.5 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, the fourth straight weekly build and nearly triple what analysts had forecast.

'You cannot keep the price low with slogans and intimidation, ' considered Zanganeh.

Saudi Arabia said in a statement on Sunday, that it plays a "vital role in the global economy".

Crude had rallied early Monday on tough rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump on the consequences should the Saudi government be found to have been involved in the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, as well as implied threats from Riyadh over the impact that could have on global oil markets should the U.S. impose sanctions.

But as total imports into Japan remain in check, flows from Saudi - as well as from other Persian Gulf players Iran and Iraq - have dropped on a year-over-year basis through the first nine months of the year. Also noteworthy was the message published by Turki Al Dakhil, who heads the state-owned Arabiya news network and is close to the Royal Court, who wrote, "If President Trump was angered by $80 oil, nobody should rule out the price jumping to $100 and $200 a barrel or maybe double that figure".

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Trump has urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise output to help cover a shortfall due to new US sanctions on Iran.

"The oil price pain being now felt would have been much worse if we had believed people who 4-5 years ago said that oil demand had peaked and would decline", Mr. Al-Falih added.

The diplomatic crisis over Saudi Arabia's alleged involvement in the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi could affect oil prices, too. "And we have seen sanctions on Iran".

Oil prices have surged to over $80 a barrel on concerns over tight supplies, as lower exports from Iran, plunging production from Venezuela, and infrastructural constraints in the USA and Canada prevent oil from reaching worldwide markets.

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.

Reliance imported 2 million barrels of Iranian oil in September, ship tracking data obtained from sources showed.

Reuters reported on October 15 that oil tankers continued to carry Iranian oil exports to China, India, Turkey, Italy, and a few other destinations earlier this month, one month ahead of the reimposition of oil sanctions. During the meet, Modi had warned high oil prices stalling global growth and ultimately hurting producing countries.

"When oil companies enter into annual term contracts for buying crude oil, there are two components mentioned - firm supplies and optional supplies".

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