Oil prices rise on lower US crude inventories, looming Iran sanctions

Reuters SINGAPORE | Updated on September 12, 2018 Published on September 12, 2018

Iran crude exports to Asia fall.   -  Reuters

API reports 8.6 million-barrel decline in crude inventories

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after a report of falling crude inventories and the looming sanctions against Iran fuelled expectations of a tightening market. Prices were also pushed up by Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall on the US East Coast on Friday, and which has caused fuel shortages following the evacuation of millions of households and businesses.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $69.81 per barrel at 0047 GMT, up 56 cents, or 0.8 per cent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures climbed 24 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $79.30 a barrel. The increases extended a more than 2 per cent climb in both crude benchmarks the previous session. “Oil prices jumped overnight as American Petroleum Institute inventory data showed a large drawdown in inventories,” said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

US crude stocks fell by 8.6 million barrels in the week to September 7 to 395.9 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, said on Tuesday. Official weekly government data will be published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

Outside the United States, traders have been focusing on the impact of looming US sanctions against Iran, which will target oil exports from November. Washington has put pressure on other governments to also cut imports, and many countries and companies are already falling in line and reducing purchases, triggering expectations of a tighter market.

Published on September 12, 2018
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