Oil prices fall after surprise rise in USA inventories

Media: Japan halts imports of oil from Iran

Russian Federation is getting ready to invest US$50 billion in Iran's oil and gas industry. China, one of its biggest customers imported nearly 27 percent of total Iranian exports, followed by India with 16 percent, South Korea with 10 percent, Japan with 7 percent and Turkey with 10 percent.

Saudi Arabia rejected concerns that it's planning to oversupply global oil markets and said it will actually trim crude exports next month.

Production of crude topped 10.7 million barrels per day with production of natural gas hitting 4 million barrels per day, according to an analysis released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) Thursday. They have pinned their hopes on China, which buys the bulk of the oil, as well as on India and Turkey. Iran relies upon the export of oil.

While other oil producing countries will no doubt see a rise in profit as a result of the U.S. sanctions, it is remiss to ignore the other people who will benefit enormously from these sanctions: the Iranian people. It accounts for around 5 percent of Japan's annual crude oil imports. The country's oil revenues also grew from $27.308 trillion in 2015 to $41.123 trillion in 2017.

U.S. crude oil inventories increased in the week ending July 13, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.

When Trump was in Europe, he reminded the Europeans about the sanctions and the new USA posture toward Iran.

So, they continue to import oil just as before. China has indicated that it would not honor the US sanctions.

News Wednesday of strong United States demand for gasoline and distillates gave the price only a brief boost. It is an axiom of politics in the United States that high oil prices produce murder at the polls. Iranian official urges Trump not to use USA strategic oil reserve. "A wide front-month futures price premium of Brent over WTI will further provide a competitive edge to oil sourced from the U.S". Saudi Arabia also cut last week its official selling prices (OSPs) by US$0.20 for most of its grades to the Asian markets for August. The Saudis and Russians said they would implement an increase of about 1 million barrels a day, but Iran, which is seeing customers flee because of US sanctions, insists it should be much less.

"If this happens, (it) means Trump is asking Saudi Arabia to walk (away) from OPEC", he told Reuters. The U.S. government now holds about 660 million barrels in its underground tanks in Louisiana and Texas.

While worries remain over potential supply losses in Venezuela and Iran as well as sporadic disruptions in Libya, investors are waiting to see how an agreement reached last month by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allied producers to raise output will impact global oil supplies. For decades, the WTI contract based in Cushing, has been the benchmark for US oil prices, but Houston has surpassed Cushing in terms of importance.

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