U.S. Oil Rig Count Inches Higher As WTI Pops

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U.S. Oil Rig Count Inches Higher As WTI Pops

Renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran against its oil exports look to tighten supply further.

It is now trying to negotiate a waiver from the USA sanctions, but judging by the State Department's stated goal to reduce Iran's crude oil exports to zero, success is uncertain.

It shows the year-on-year percentage growth in USA non-farm payrolls, splitting the results by oil and non-oil producing states.

"If the Saudis and others replace the losses from Iran, there will be basically no spare capacity left", Societe Generale analyst Michael Wittner said.

The United States and China have started a trade war on Friday, introducing bilateral tariffs worth 34 billion Dollars, while not showing willingness to start talks with a view to reaching a ceasefire. Standing in the line of fire are USA crude supplies to China, which have surged from virtually zero before 2017 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July.

Oil was mixed on Friday as a Canadian supply outage supported USA crude prices, while an increase in production from OPEC's biggest exporter Saudi Arabia pushed Brent lower.

Crude Oil WTI futures for delivery in August traded at $74.8 per barrel, or 0.38 percent higher from their previous close.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA) announced that U.S. crude inventories had risen 1.2 million barrels in the week to June 29, to 417.88 million barrels.

USA oil output is increasing but is unlikely to be able to fill the supply gap if US sanctions are successful in blocking Iranian exports.

Beijing has said it may include a 25 percent tariff on USA crude imports, although it has not specified a date.

"As South Korea's economy heavily relies on trade, it won't be good for South Korea if the global economic slowdown happens because of a trade dispute between U.S and China", said Lee Dal-seok, senior researcher at the Korea Energy Economic Institute (KEEI).

An executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group said he expected Beijing to soon impose the tariff on U.S. oil imports.

Baker Hughes reported an increase in the number of active oil rigs in the United States today.

Energy consultancy FGE on Friday issued a stark warning of looming supply shortages due to USA sanctions against Iran, and because of disruptions elsewhere.

South Korea is reported to have stopped importing Iran's oil and condensate in what appears to be a temporary halt until the country obtains an exemption from United States curbs on buying Iranian oil.

Shares of top oil marketing companies led the gains on NSE index, as US-China trade war fears weighed on oil prices.

Two other sources said South Korea cancelled July loadings of crude and condensate cargoes from Iran as it was uncertain whether the country would receive an exemption from U.S. sanctions on Iran trade.

Although Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have both said they would raise output to make up for these disruptions, FGE said "there simply is not enough capacity to make up for Iran's crude losses, plus Venezuela and Libya", and warned of the possibility of oil prices rising to $100 per barrel.

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