Oil prices gain as USA drillers cut oil rigs

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In recent weeks, supply disruptions in Venezuela, Canada, and Libya, and the prospect of significantly lowered Iranian oil exports, have supported oil prices, while Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation boosting production and the U.S.

Brent crude oil rose 37c to $73.28 a barrel by 3.36pm GMT, previously reaching a session high of $73.79.

"Saudi Arabia and several other OPEC members have increased exports sharply ahead of sanctions on Iran, and the timing mismatch between these effects is pressuring oil prices", said Martijn Rats, managing director at Morgan Stanley in London.

Al-Aama described concerns that Saudi Arabia and its partners are moving to substantially oversupply the market as "without basis", explaining that the Kingdom is committed to working with its partners in the Declaration of Cooperation.

The JCPOA allowed foreign money to flow into Iran in exchange for oil exports and other trade, but the Iranian people saw none of this.

However, they can only alter their yield by a few percent, particularly because refiners are flush with light US crude that produces gasoline-friendly naphtha, Rogers said.

Trade tension between the United States and China could drag on the global economy, BMI Research said.

"Markets are now nervous, not only about a trade war, but also a currency war".

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Crude prices pulled back from highs earlier in the session as traders cashed in on profits, said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

Data from Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed a larger than expected 5.8 million barrels jump in United States crude inventories in the week ended July 13. "Escalating trade tensions between the USA and China will also be conducive to more US oil coming to the Indian market". US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $1.11 higher at $69.89.

The US and her allies aren't helping because low oil prices mean fracking to produce shale oil has suddenly become profitable and weaning America off dependence on OPEC. US crude stocks rose by 5.8 million barrels last week, compared with a forecast for a decline of 3.6 million barrels.

"The dollar was a one-way ticket for the last couple of weeks and basically reversed directions, giving us some strong support", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.

US crude oil imports averaged 9.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 1,635,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

A sudden change in sentiment has hit the global oil market, with prices now down more than 10% from a lofty peak of $80 per barrel in May.

Last month, the White House said in a statement that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had promised Trump that he could raise oil production if needed, and that the country had two million bpd of spare capacity.

Adeeb al-Aama said in a statement on Thursday that the kingdom's July crude oil exports will be roughly in line with last month's total, which stood at almost 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).