Russia's Novak: Higher oil production in July aimed at market stability

Russia's Novak: Higher oil production in July aimed at market stability

Russia's Novak: Higher oil production in July aimed at market stability

South Korea's imports of USA crude jumped more than fourfold to 14.1 million barrels in the first half of the year from a year ago, according to data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery lost 1.10 USA dollars to settle at 67.66 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery erased 1.82 dollars to close at 72.39 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Brent prices fell more than 6 percent in June and USA crude slumped about 7 percent, the biggest monthly declines for both benchmarks since July 2016.

In addition, inventories at Cushing shrunk by 1.338 million barrels, adding to last week's 1.127 million barrels drop.

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once USA sanctions come into force later this year.

Brent for October settlement dipped $1.82 to end the session at $72.39 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels last week, but still about 1.4 percent above the levels of the same week a year ago.

Oil prices are feeling the effects of ongoing tensions over global trade, with markets concerned about any slowdown in growth around the world. "Yet, we remain much more concerned about the ongoing USA sanctions on Iran", analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note published last week.

A mixed report and data showing total OPEC production were offsetting supply-side strains and left the price of oil searching for direction early Friday.

China said it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

OPEC+ may discuss whether a bigger production increase is needed when they meet in September, Novak said last month.

On Monday, a Reuters survey found that OPEC production reached a 2018 high in July.

"Brent futures continue to be pressured by last month's sharp upswing in Saudi and Russian crude exports that have forced a temporary supply glut that will require some slowing in output gains this month, especially from the Saudis", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

When OPEC met in June, the organisation agreed it had been cutting supplies excessively and should restore output to 100 percent of a target set in late 2016.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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