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Benchmark Brent crude oil futures on Tuesday were 1.5 percent higher at $74.80 a barrel.

For U.S. crude exporters, India is a market ripe for expansion, given the voyage from the Gulf of Mexico to India's west coast takes about three weeks, much the same as it does to China's east coast.

USA crude stockpiles were expected to have dropped 3.3 million barrels last week.

The reimposed sanctions target Iran's USA dollar purchases, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.

Beijing's decision to exclude USA crude reflected China's reliance on imports.

USA crude oil producers appear to have found an alternative buyer for cargoes no longer heading to China, with India on track to import record volumes in August.

"Past instances of El Nino have resulted in sharp drops in U.S. residential and commercial heating oil demand and prices", it said.

As part of its most recent retaliation against Washington in the mounting trade dispute, China will impose tariffs of 25 percent on a further $16 billion in US imports, which will affect trade in goods from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment.

Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at FXTM, said the escalation "is just reminding investors that their trade war concerns are going nowhere anytime soon".

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Tuesday evening the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that crude inventories dropped by 6 million barrels in the week ending August 3.

Oil prices started the week with gains due to the focus on supply disruptions and a potential impact of US sanctions on Iranian crude oil output. "We had been regularly taking spot cargoes but are now also looking at tender-term deals where monthly cargoes can be booked through a tender purchase", he said.

The Foreign Ministry of China stated on Wednesday that China vehemently opposes the unilateral sanctions from the U.S. on Iran.

Analysts estimated that Iranian production would drop further amid the restored sanctions and drive the oil price further up.

Oil prices rose Tuesday with the global benchmark crude, Brent soaring above $74 per barrel as the United States revived sanctions against Iran, a major producer, tightening supply to the worldwide market.

Later on Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, is set to release official USA fuel storage data.

After two consecutive daily advances, WTI has now eroded those gains and retreated to the area of multi-day lows at shouting distance from the $68.00 mark per barrel.

Some sources have said with exports falling, Iran's domestic refinery runs have increased, with a pick-up in gasoline output observed at some of its refineries, and more barrels are expected to go onto floating storage.