Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $77.82 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close.
To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July.
US crude oil is trading on the futures market today for about $73.52 a barrel, down about $1 from the previous session.
The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was $73.22 a barrel, down 1.24 percent.
The war of words over oil prices continues between US President Donald Trump and Iran, and the latest salvo from Iran is for Trump to stop tweeting. Trump points out the U.S. defends OPEC members for a "very little" amount of money. This must be a two way street. "When presidents are in disfavor, the high gasoline price only adds to that".
Following Trump's OPEC complaint, Saudi Arabia, the biggest crude oil exporter, assured Trump they could increase oil production and ensure price stability in the global market, according to Reuters. Now that prices have rebounded from a low of $30 a barrel in January 2016 to about $75, OPEC and other exporters led by Russian Federation have agreed to slowly increase exports by what will effectively be 700,000 barrels a day now, with another half million barrels later in the year as sanctions on Iran take effect. Today, the United States exports more oil than Iran. Last month, in an interview with Reuters, he said that "you (Trump) can not place sanctions on two OPEC founder members and still blame OPEC for oil price volatility".
Ship brokerage Banchero Costa said Iran's crude oil production was now around 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), but added "there is the risk of production decreasing going forward as exports are again affected by renewed sanctions implemented by the United States". This context has produced high oil prices compared with what they were at the beginning of the year.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report Thursday morning showing that U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory of 417.9 million barrels.
Ardebili told Reuters that Trump "should have expected" when blocking Iran's access to the global markets that it would end up as "hostage (to) Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation", who he said had little vested interest in bringing down prices.
Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Thursday that Trump had raised oil prices through his tweets. He wants to ensure petrol prices come down before the USA mid-term elections in November.
But strong personal relationships between the leaders and agreement on the overall deal obscure disagreement on some key details, not least the desirable level for oil prices. "If supply doesn't rise, we expect Brent prices to touch $85 by year end as markets will be in a deficit", Valecha said.
"If they want to stop Iranian oil exports, we will not allow any oil shipment to pass through the Strait of Hormuz", Ismail Kowsari was quoted as saying.