USA crude stockpiles fell more than expected last week

Equinor's oil platform in Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the North Sea Norway

Iranian oil exports have already fallen ahead of United States sanctions which come into force in November while production in Venezuela continues to decline. Brent touched $80 for the first time since May during Wednesday's session. The US has stepped up pressure on buyers to halt Iranian energy imports from November.

The cartel revised world oil demand growth in 2019 slightly lower by 20,000 from the previous month's report, again due to economic revisions to Latin America and the Middle East: "World oil demand growth is now anticipated at 1.41 million bpd and total global consumption at around 100.23 million bpd", it stated, adding that the trade war between the USA and China is also cause for ongoing concern.

"The Midwest accounted for the lion's share of the inventory drop, while lower crude imports, higher crude exports and higher refinery runs on the Gulf Coast also help explain away a good part of today's crude draw", he said.

In August, rising output in Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia offset declines in Iran, which is about to face new USA sanctions that are already hurting Iranian exports, and in Venezuela.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lifted oil-price forecasts and lowered U.S. crude output expectations.

The Paris-based energy agency said falling output in Iran and Venezuela could drive up prices if it is not offset by more production elsewhere.

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Opec and its allies will meet in Algiers this month to assess global oil markets after having agreed to increase output at their last meeting in June.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery dropped $1.78, or 2.5%, to $68.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its worst day since August 15 after it closed at its highest level since July 20 a session earlier.

Washington on Monday offered 11 million barrels of high-sulphur, or sour, crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery from October 1 to November 30. "The situation should be closely watched, the right decisions should be taken", he said.

Gasoline stocks rose 1.3 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, climbed by 6.2 million barrels, the EIA data showed.

Looking further ahead, however, Opec lowered its forecast, albeit modestly, for oil demand growth in 2019, saying rising challenges in some emerging and developing countries could negatively impact the global economy. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are now the world's three largest oil producers, accounting for about a third of global crude oil output.

"If Venezuelan and Iranian exports do continue to fall, markets could tighten and oil prices could rise without offsetting production increases from elsewhere", the IEA warned.

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