Oil slips as USA crude stockpiles show surprise build

Oil slips as USA crude stockpiles show surprise build

A US government report also weighed on prices this week, showing crude stockpiles rose by 1.3 million barrels, while analysts had forecast a decline.

The war of words over oil prices continues between US President Donald Trump and Iran, and the latest salvo from Iran is for Trump to stop tweeting.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a USA announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia told the group it pumped 10.5 million barrels a day in June, about 500,000 more than the previous month, according to people familiar with the matter.

At 0734 GMT, August WTI crude oil is trading $73.02, up 0.07 or +0.10% and September Brent crude oil is at $77.17, down $0.22 or -0.28%.

Spare capacity, especially from OPEC countries, is an important measure by analysts to determine major oil exporters' ability to respond to rising demand.

China says it will retaliate, and U.S. President Trump said on Thursday he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than a half-trillion dollars worth of Chinese goods.




Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation against any hostile USA action.

Kazempour said Trump was trying to intensify tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Oil fell on Thursday after USA government data showed an unexpected build in crude oil stockpiles.

Earlier this month, Reuters also reported that South Korea had upped crude oil imports from Kazakhstan, already looking for alternative supplies as the November 4 deadline for the sanctions draws nearer.

"A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production and the USA decision to end the Iran deal", National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its July outlook. "Looming U.S. sanctions on Iran, however, are causing serious concerns amongst market players".

According to Commerzbank, OPEC now has just enough oil to meet global demands without Iran's supply. "The UAE can increase production at a point when oil price remaining high so they will increase their market share and it is positive for economic outlook and also the fiscal positon will see a surplus this year due to higher oil revenues", she said.

The UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) said on Tuesday it could increase production by several hundred thousand bpd if needed.

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