Crude Oil Prices Slump 20% From October Highs, Enter Bear Market

Workers at an onshore Iranian oil facility

Workers at an onshore Iranian oil facility

Oil markets on Friday remained weak as rising supply and concerns of an economic slowdown pressured prices, with U.S. crude now down by 20 per cent since early October.

U.S. sanctions on Iran can't keep crude costs buoyed as overproduction remains hefty from major players. That revived concerns of a supply glut, in contrast to earlier fears over a crude crunch due to shrinking exports from the Persian Gulf state.

"Each of those countries has already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months", Pompeo said, "and indeed two of those eight have already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place". US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $61.63 per barrel at 0125 GMT, down 4 cents from their last settlement. Meanwhile, the report also noted that China and India's imports from Iran remained fairly consistent throughout the year, and both governments have shown little sign that they intend to fully comply with the sanctions.

"We've already reduced Iranian crude oil experts by over a million barrels per day".

Oil prices have come under downward pressure from rising supplies, even though Iranian exports are expected to fall because of new US sanctions.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly has asked oil producers to pump more crude to lower prices. The move higher in production was a large jump, "not just a tick", Mr Yawger said.

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Mr. Zanganeh said that while such moves by the Trump administration may have been able to "superficially" drop fuel prices ahead of the US midterm elections - future price hikes were now likely.

The Modi government has caved in, in the face of threats of United States sanctions regarding oil imports from Iran. Waivers granted to the sanctions intensify the market's perception that sanctions may not limit crude supply as much as initially expected.

"Brent oil may slide further into a range of $68.59-$69.69 per barrel", said Reuters analyst Wang Tao. Hinds says that production bump won't necessarily translate into inventory builds, but could push crude oil prices down to $65 per barrel crude by the end of 2019.

A collision between an oil tanker and a military frigate off Norway's coast temporarily shut down the nation's largest crude-export terminal, halted the pumping of several North Sea grades, and boosted immediate natural gas prices in the United Kingdom. The minister of petroleum and gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, told reporters on November 3 that the "prime minister's forceful campaign has been that you can not ignore interests of consuming countries".

"Opec and Russian Federation may use (production) cuts to support US$70 per barrel", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

The OPEC source was responding to a report by Russia's TASS news agency that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia had started bilateral discussions over possible curbs to output in 2019.

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