Iran to veto OPEC decisions harming its interests

Oil prices fall amid surprise growth in U.S. crude stocks

"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Consortium (OPEC) as well as other major oil producing countries are going to meet on September 23 in Algeria to see how supply increases can be allocated within the prescribed quota framework so that loss of oil from Iran can be mitigated.

"We're stuck in a range here", said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in NY, with prices supported by sanctions on Iranian supplies and pressured by the potential Chinese demand could wane.

Incumbents who face challengers in the upcoming US mid-term elections have reasons to want oil prices - and in turn, gasoline prices at the pump - to be lower this fall, too.

Brent oil traded near the highest level in a week after Saudi Arabia was said to be content with the global benchmark crude breaking above USD80 a barrel.

Brent crude oil was unchanged at $79.40 a barrel by 0910 GMT, stabilising a little below the $80 mark.

The October WTI futures price settled at $71.12 a barrel, just a nickel shy of the intraday high.

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OPEC and its allies are scheduled to meet on Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies due to USA sanctions.

Oil prices moved upward on Wednesday after official data showed large draw in U.S crude oil and gasoline inventories and lower than expect build in distillates inventories, despite an increase in the USA weekly crude oil production. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for a decrease of 1.6 million barrels in gasoline supplies, while distillates were forecast to fall by 282,000 barrels. But it is unclear how easily other producers can compensate for any lost supply. Bloomberg tanker tracking data also indicates 30% decline since April and further shrinkage is expected for coming months as oil-related sanctions USA sanctions are scheduled to be implemented soon.

The market reversed course after a source told Reuters that OPEC and its allies were discussing the possibility of raising output by 500,000 barrels per day.

Though Saudi Arabia has never tested such high levels, it has said it pumped 10.7-10.8 million bpd in the past. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the staunchest backers of the USA within OPEC and are aligned politically against Iran in the Middle East.

Over the past year, refiners in the East Coast have been receiving as much US crude oil from the Gulf Coast by tanker or barge as they have received from the Midwest by rail.

According to EIA, U.S. total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 21.38 million barrels per day, up 4.9 percent from the same period past year.

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