LONDON. — Oil rose yesterday after Saudi crude production unexpectedly fell in July and US drilling appeared to slow, although the price is still almost 10 percent below its 2018 high of more than $80 a barrel. Markets also anticipated an announcement from Washington later yesterday on renewed US sanctions against major oil exporter Iran. So-called “snapback” sanctions are due to be reinstated at 12:01 a.m. EDT (8.01 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, according to a US Treasury official.
Saudi Arabia pumped around 10,29 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, two OPEC sources said on Friday, down about 200 000 bpd from a month earlier.
That came despite a pledge by the Saudis and top producer Russia in June to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia promising a “measurable” supply boost.
Brent crude oil futures were up 68 cents on the day at $73,89 a barrel by 1116 GMT, while US futures rose 90 cents to $69,39 barrel.
“Saudi Arabia knows that the US really does want to see maximum impact from sanctions towards Iran, which means that they want to prepare all buyers of Iranian crude to say ‘there is plenty of oil in the market and don’t be afraid to pull back on Iran (purchases),” said Bjarne Schieldrop, head of commodities strategy at SEB.