Oil mixed as US crude stockpiles show surprise build

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

While Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's oil sanctions on Iran and trade frictions with China are adding to uncertainties with planned USA tariffs on Chinese goods set to start tomorow.

"The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in USA gas stations, is exclusively upon your (Trump's) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come", Kazempour said.

"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help..."

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.4 million barrels per day.

US crude futures dropped 90 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $73.22 per barrel as of 11:18 a.m. EST (1518 GMT).

Oil earlier traded near its highest in 3-½ years Thursday, boosted by potential disruptions to flows from Iran and the Middle East despite a new demand from U.S. President Trump, via Twitter, that OPEC cut prices. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s.

"This must be a two way street", he wrote, adding in block capitals, "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

Pompeo meets North Koreans, hopes to 'fill in' details on denuclearisation
Trump declared that he and Kim developed a "very special bond" and Kim had committed to working "toward" denuclearization . When the US and North Korea concluded the Singapore summit, Mr.

Saudi Arabia has told OPEC it pumped 10.488 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil last month, an increase of 458,000 bpd from the level it said it produced in May, OPEC sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018.

Opec, together with a group of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation, reduced output in 2017 to prop up the market.

OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation agreed last month to boost output by around a million barrels a day, reversing course after supply cuts that cleared a global glut and boosted prices.

Oil held near US$74 (RM299) a barrel amid estimates that USA crude inventories declined for a fourth week, compounding concerns that global markets are growing increasingly tight.

OPEC and Russian Federation said in June they were willing to raise output to address concerns of supply shortages due to unplanned disruptions from Venezuela to Libya, and likely also to replace a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to US sanctions.

A blockade of the strait, through which roughly 30 per cent of all seaborne oil travels, would have "dramatic consequences for global oil supply and an impact on prices that is nearly impossible to put into figures", Commerzbank said in a note.

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