Oil falls below $80 on rising US stockpiles

Oil edges higher amid tension over death of Saudi journalist

OPEC's assessment came as Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell below the $80-a-barrel threshold for the first time in almost a month on Thursday, after data showed an unexpected rise in USA inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute's latest monthly statistical report shows the U.S. produced a record 11.0 million barrels of crude oil per day (mb/d) in September.

November natural-gas futures NGX18, +1.03% rose 1.6% to $3.25 per million British thermal units, leaving it with a weekly advance of 2.8%.

us crude inventories rose 6.49 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration reported, more than twice the rate forecast in a Bloomberg survey before the data was released.

Iran, the world's fifth biggest oil producer, exported about 2.5 million barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2018.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he presumes missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead and that the US response to Saudi Arabia will likely be very severe but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.

The exchange operator has been adding new USA oil contracts because it has seen a lot of interest in the spreads to WTI, Johnson said, noting that there is a lot of liquidity for the new derivatives trade for new US grades.

In effect, the oil market found the pain threshold for the USA administration, which lies at around $80 per barrel for Brent, and pushed prices high enough to enforce a partial course correction from policymakers.

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Moreover, Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ali Kardor said on Wednesday that the United States threat to get Iran's oil exports to zero was just a "political bluff".

"We're seeing some buying come back in", said Phil Flynn, an oil market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

But those who are against the idea, say once we have not still resolved the problems and weaknesses in the stock trades, how can we set up a new proper ground for offering oil in this market?

He also said that the USA response to Saudi Arabia would likely be "very severe" but he would still want to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.

Dalian is a major oil hub in China and, Reuters notes, Iran has used storage facilities at the port to keep crude during the previous global round of sanctions against Tehran.

Total hedge fund long positions in crude have fallen to 865 million barrels, from a recent high of 908 million in late September, while short positions have risen to 93 million barrels from 65 million.

Continued weakness in global equities was also a weight on crude this week, analysts said, underlining worries about global growth prospects and dampening demand for assets perceived as risky, including most commodities.

But tension between Saudi Arabia and the United States after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has supported prices.

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