US crude exports to India surge as China intake fades

A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas

A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas Venezuela

Oil pumps are seen at sunset outside Vaudoy-en-Brie, near Paris, France April 23, 2018.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had support from the Europeans, China and Russian Federation in regard to a United Nations -backed nuclear agreement that offers sanctions relief in exchange for peaceful commitments from Tehran.

US sanctions on Iran's energy sector are set to be re-imposed after a 180-day "wind-down period" ending on November 4.

Oil was trading at $74 per barrel of Brent benchmark, while the US West Texas Intermediate stood at $69.77 on Monday. The last time Iran was sanctioned, it lost half of its exports, which have now returned to 2.4 million barrels per day.

Sanctions that went into force on Tuesday target Iran's access to the USA dollar, its trade in gold and other precious metals, and other financial measures tied to the national currency, the rial.

And further sanctions are set to be imposed by the USA in November.

Analysts have predicted the sanctions could put more than two million barrels per day at risk.

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In other news, USA drillers cut two oil rigs in the week to August 3, bringing the total count down to 859, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

WTI has resistance at $69.64 to $70.42 and support at $67.00 to $66.81. President Donald Trump announced in May the USA would withdraw from the deal, which offered sanctions relief in exchange for restraints on Tehran's nuclear weapons program.

"Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States", he stated through his Twitter account.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country opposes sanctions on Iran, but will abide by them to protect its own interests.

That came despite a pledge by the Saudis and top producer Russian Federation in June to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia promising a "measurable" supply boost. Ultimately, I think this market will continue to be very noisy, as the geopolitical issues continue to push oil markets around. "The reports that Saudi Arabia's production actually dropped in July continue to provide support for the market".

Meanwhile, U.S. crude production, which has climbed dramatically fueled largely by increased output from shale formations, may now rise more slowly as prices drop, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's monthly report. 9 million bpd this week, based on weekly estimates provided by the EIA.

"Without the extra Saudi oil we had in June, it's hard to crunch the numbers and get a lower price going into the end of the year", said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

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