Saudis indicate comfort with higher oil prices

Trump Presses OPEC to Reduce Prices as Crude Trades Near $80

Trump leverages U.S. military protection in OPEC price-gouging spat

With crude oil prices steadily climbing to $80 a barrel, President Trump on Thursday again slammed OPEC - tweeting that prices keep rising even as the U.S. spends billions to safeguard oil-producing Mideast countries.

US oil production in August averaged 10.9 million barrels per day, the EIA estimates - up by 120,000 barrels per day in June.

The rise in crude oil prices this quarter could contribute to increases in cash from operations and capital expenditures, said the EIA in its review, which included Big Oil, Rosneft, and Sinopec, and many smaller companies and US companies focused on shale production.

USA crude stocks fell last week, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Jason Gammel, analyst at USA bank Jefferies, said he expects Saudi Arabia to try to keep the oil market adequately supplied into 2019, "but at the cost of spare capacity", a key supply buffer to prevent oil price volatility.

Crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. The EIA also said that gasoline demand was much higher relative to historical seasonal demand.

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Prices at the pump have creeped upward since Trump took office, with the average price for all grades climbing from $2.45 in January 2017 to $2.67 a year later and to $2.91 in August, down from a 2018 high of $2.98 in May, the start of the summer travel season, according to government data.

Under pressure from the US president, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other allies agreed in June to boost production by 1 million barrels per day, having participated in a supply-cutting deal since 2017.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the agreement that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers reached in 2016 to cut output is in tatters, and an OPEC committee set to meet this weekend in Algiers has no authority to impose a new supply arrangement.

Speaking of oil, recently oil prices were increased by 1.6% in the USA, as the US stocks fell by 5.3 Million barrels. Oil exports from the Persian Gulf nation have plunged about 35 percent since April, the month before Trump exited from the diplomatic deal with Tehran and announced new oil sanctions.

US sanctions on Iran's oil exports come into force on November 4.

But the reduction in Iranian and Venezuelan production, the cartel's total output increased by 437,000 barrels, as other members filled the void. As growth continues to rise, demand for United States crude oil (WTI) continues to rise. Prices hit a two-month high Wednesday as Brent crude - the world's most closely followed gauge - rose above $79 a barrel. Refineries were running at 95.4% of capacity, with daily input averaging 17.4 million barrels a day, about 442,000 less than the previous week's average.

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