Oil Gains After U.S. Holds Fire on Opening Reserves

Such a rise in oil prices would make it the first time since the summer of 2014 that oil would return to the $100-a-barrel price level.

"Oil prices remain in the Bulls domain amid concern that USA sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports will result in much tighter physical market conditions once they take effect in November", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

Commerzbank said in a note that "the latest rise in oil prices is due primarily to Trump himself. he has focused the market's attention on the Iran sanctions again, even though the market is adequately supplied at present thanks to the increase in OPEC and Russian production".

Speaking to reporters after addressing the UN General Assembly, Macron said Iran should be allowed to keep selling oil and called for dialogue as he rejected a U.S. push to isolate the clerical regime. High oil prices are a political risk for President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans.

"It's hard to believe that the Saudis won't answer the call at some point, especially if prices tick much higher", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in NY.

It could cause Washington to take extraordinary steps, including the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to cool down the crude oil and other fuel prices ahead of the USA mid-term elections. This hike might take place for the first time since the year 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies because of the US penalty. U.S. supplies of crude oil jumped 1.9 million barrels for the week ending September 21, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

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To counter the recent falling supply from Iran, OPEC and other oil producers are considering to raise the output of crude oil by 500,000 bpd.

The website of Iran's oil ministry, Shana.ir, quotes Bijan Zangeneh as saying the "US dream of getting Iran's oil exports (effectively) to zero won't come true".

That unexpected supply surge pushed WTI crude prices down 49 cents to $71.79 in Wednesday trading.

OPEC and non-OPEC including Russia, Oman and Kazakhstan, met at the weekend to discuss a possible increase in crude output.

"Undoubtedly the oil market is expected to be tight in coming months and, if OPEC's own numbers are to be believed, global oil inventories are to fall during the remainder of the year". If that changes, it could have a "bullish impact" on prices, Mower said.

"There are more demand threats next year compared to supply threats", said the second source, who also has knowledge of the talks.

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