Oil steady as Saudi tensions balance demand outlook

Committed to meet India's oil demand: Saudi Energy Minister

Given the impact of rising oil prices on the rupee and India's trade deficit, his motivations were clear.

At 0738 GMT, December WTI Crude Oil futures are trading $71.35, down $0.26 or -0.36% and January Brent Crude Oil is at $80.20, down $0.23 or -0.29%.

The proposed US legislation-the so-called No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act-could pave the way to antitrust lawsuits in the USA against the cartel and its national oil companies, if passed.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said the government has no business to interfere in the pricing decisions by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) related to petroleum products.

"These (factors) are very bearish for oil prices", said Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

"The oil market is suffering from short supply and this can not be resolved by words".

Barkindo said India's crude oil demand was expected to rise by 5.8 million barrels a day (bpd) by 2040, accounting for around 40 per cent of the global demand rise by then.

Outbreak of mysterious polio-like disease plagues residents in 22 states
Symptoms include neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 62 cases this year and a total of 386 since 2014.

The largest change is forecast in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, where output is expected to climb by 53,000 bpd to a new peak of 3.55 million bpd.

United States oil prices extended gains on Wednesday after industry data showed a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories.

Jahangiri said some countries that have stopped importing oil from Iran are looking for workarounds that would allow them to continue to import energy from Iran indirectly.

"America thinks Saudi Arabia can replace this oil".

USA crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a build of 2.2 million barrels, American Petroleum Institute data showed after Tuesday's settlement. On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to report a similar figure.

He said the developments show that the United States "will definitely not be able to cut Iran's oil exports to zero" - the goal set by USA officials - when sanctions targeting the oil sector go into effect on November 5.

Also underpinning sentiment is the scandal over the disappearance of prominent Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared two weeks ago after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Senior officials on Monday had said that Indian oil companies have optional volumes built in their annual crude oil purchase contracts with suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Iraq that will be more than enough to make up for any shortfall in supplies from sanctions-hit Iran.

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