Saudi Aramco to boost oil capacity by 550,000bpd in Q4

Markets are edgy that an embargo on Iranian crude exports will be harsher than before and wreak havoc on markets. ─ Reuters  File

Washington's sanctions are set to start on November 4, and analysts say there may not be enough spare production capacity in the short-term to meet demand, potentially requiring large storage drawdowns.

"Our oil analysts believe there is now a growing risk it (crude) could touch $100 per barrel", HSBC said.

Oil futures extended their rally on Monday, hitting their highest levels since November 2014, as US sanctions on Iran come into force and a North American trade deal fosters growth. Total volume traded was about 18 percent below the 100-day average.

Hedge funds and other money managers have boosted their bullish position in Brent by 172 million barrels since late August, an increase of more than 50 percent, including 50 million barrels in the aftermath of the JMMC.

Those include "increasing supply concerns resulting from impending USA sanctions on Iran", as well rising concerns over the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' and Russia's willingness to increase production to make up for any Iranian shortfall, and continued strong demand for oil, he said.

"If Chinese refiners do comply with US sanctions more fully than expected, then the market balance is likely to tighten even more aggressively", Emirates NBD analyst Edward Bell wrote in a note.

Brent rose 9 cents to $85.07 per barrel by 11:53 a.m. EDT, a day after reaching a four-year high of $85.45.

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"At the United Nations, Trump said that OPEC is to blame for increasing oil prices and it had increased the prices so it needs to increase oil production".

USA light crude futures were up US$2.05 a barrel at US$75.30, the highest since November 2014.

The survey revealed that Libya, Angola, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria provided the biggest output increases in September, while the biggest drop was provided by Iran at 100,000 bpd.

Growing uncertainties over global oil supply have sent prices soaring in NY to their highest level in almost 4 years.

"Already at $80, we are seeing emerging-market local oil prices pretty close to where we peaked a few years ago. the race to protect consumers from further price rises from here could potentially impact demand growth sooner than would otherwise have been expected", Hansen said.

Trump has also reportedly discussed oil supplies and prices in a phone call with the king of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 29 ("Trump calls Saudi's King to discuss oil supplies", Reuters, Sept. 29).

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