"Mr Trump is trying to seriously reduce exports of Iran's oil and also ensure the price of oil does not go up, but these two can not happen together", Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency, as quoted by Reuters.
United States crude supplies showed yet another gain, with USA inventories showing a rise of almost 3 million barrels in the week to September 21st, bringing to total count to over 400 million barrels of excess supply, reversing the market's forecast of a 1.3 million barrel decrease, and the added flow of U.S. oil is helping to take WTI back down from recent highs, though USA crude prices still remain well-elevated.
Oil prices rose by 1 percent on Thursday as investors focused on the prospect of tighter markets due to US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran, which are set to be implemented in November.
Global benchmark Brent fell 37 cents to $81.50 a barrel by 10:57 a.m. EDT (1457 GMT). API suggests higher gasoline prices contributed to slightly lower demand than 2016 and 2017.
The price of Brent crude oil has reached its highest since November 2014 and could strengthen further amid concerns that the world's major oil producers would struggle to increase output, as called for repeatedly by US President Donald Trump, even if they wanted to. Estimates range from 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2 million bpd.
Several big buyers, such as a number of Indian refiners, have signaled they will wind down purchases of Iranian crude, yet the impact on global markets is not yet clear.
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In a speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Trump reiterated calls on Opec to pump more oil and stop raising prices.
Trump, not the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), is behind the recent rise in prices, Zanganeh said.
Iran's Naftiran Intertrade Co Ltd, a trading arm for state-owned National Iranian Oil Co, owns a 15.4% stake in Chennai Petroleum, which has two refineries with a total combined capacity of 230,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
A possible fall in Dollars after today's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee would add to the upward pressure on crude prices despite news of rising USA oil stockpiles. In fact, it has been rising since early 2017, when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), started halting the output to lift crude prices, together with other suppliers including Russian Federation.
"A renewed rise in Cushing, Oklahoma, inventories and a rise in domestic crude oil production added to the bearish tone of the report", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in NY.
It could cause Washington to take extraordinary steps, including the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to cool down the crude oil and other fuel prices ahead of the US mid-term elections. He also accused Iran of sowing chaos and promised further sanctions on the country.