Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled up $1.06, or 1.5 percent at $73.45 a barrel. Refinery input was 72,000 barrels higher than the levels the same week past year.
In comments to Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper, Rashidi said, "We are reaching a very stable stage for the crude market, whether for producers or consumers". However, low stocks were still providing a floor as even with last week's rise, overall U.S. crude inventories are below the five-year average of about 420-million barrels. "In turn, for every 1 million barrels per day imbalance, we see a price impact on Brent of around $17", they added.
"It is nearly certain that China will impose additional duties on oil and refined products imported from the USA if the Trump administration implements additional tariffs on the next tranche of Chinese goods". China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday. USA crude futures slumped last month by the most in two years, and traded just below $68 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The net imports averaged 6.44 million barrels per day last week, up by 1.35 million barrels per day from the previous week.
To be sure, production jumped from a year ago-by 13.3 percent from the 9.217 million bpd production in May last year.
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Market participants await the next fundamental development to drive prices, which is likely to be news of who stopped buying Iranian barrels for August. The number of working oil wells in the country increased that month by more than 2 percent from a year before. Total commercial petroleum inventories declined by 0.9 million barrels last week.
Distillate fuel supplied over the last four-week period averaged 3.93 million barrels per day, down by 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) recently noted that crude oil barrel counts in the USA are back on the rise, expanding last week by over 5 million barrels, erasing several weeks of expectations for steady declines in reserve supplies.
OPEC's July output climbed as Saudi Arabia pumped near-record volumes, while Russian Federation boosted production to unprecedented levels since it joined the cartel in a coordinated cut in January 2017.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery lost 0.47 US dollar to settle at 68.49 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery erased 0.24 dollar to close at 73.21 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.