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Oil near four-year highs amid supply fears

LONDON, September 27, 2018 – Oil prices were hovering near the $82 per barrel level on Thursday, close to the four-year highs reached earlier in the week, amid fears of a supply shortage as the U.S. prepares to re-impose sanctions on Iran from Nov. 4.

London-traded Brent crude futures were up 0.71% to $81.36 a barrel from their last close by 07:51 AM ET (11:51 AM GMT), holding below the high of $82.55 reached Tuesday, the most since November 2014.

U.S. crude prices added on 0.99% to trade at $72.28, not far from Tuesday’s peak of $72.75, the highest level since July 11.

The impending loss of supply from Iran has seen oil prices rally, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members, including Russia, have little spare capacity to boost output in order to offset falling global supply.

Iran is OPEC’s third largest producer.

 

U.S. president Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted OPEC and its refusal to step up oil production, telling the United Nations that OPEC members were “as usual ripping off the rest of the world”.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly Trump said the U.S. was “not going to put up with . . . these horrible prices much longer”.

Trump also urged other countries to help squeeze the regime in Tehran by cutting oil imports from Iran.

While global markets are tightening increased domestic output means that U.S. supply remains plentiful.

In its weekly report on Wednesday the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude production hit a record 11.1 million barrels per day last week.

Crude oil inventories recorded a build of 1.85 million barrels to 395.99 million barrels last week, the EIA data showed, compared to expectations for a drawdown of 1.27 million barrels.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures rose 0.37% to $2.0621 per gallon, while heating oil rose 0.66% to $2.3188 a gallon.

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