U.S. is now world's top oil producer, Energy Department says

U.S. is now world's top oil producer, Energy Department says

U.S. is now world's top oil producer, Energy Department says

Worldwide benchmark Brent futures for January delivery rose 0.9 percent to $76.68 a barrel, after falling 1.8 percent and hitting its lowest since August 24 of $75.09 per barrel on Tuesday.

With Russia pumping oil at a post-Soviet high, US crude output at more than 11 million barrels per day (bpd), concerns about renewed USA sanctions on Iran have faded in recent days. The contract fell 1.8 percent on Tuesday, at one point touching its lowest since August 24 at $75.09.

But both crude benchmarks are more than $10 a barrel below four-year highs reached on October 3 and on track for their worst monthly performance since July 2016.

Referring to Brent prices, Oil Risk Manager Tony Nunan said everyone thought they were going to go into the $90s, but now they are going for the $60s.

U.S. oil barrels are trading near 66.50 after dipping briefly into a two-month low on Tuesday, but firm selling is keeping crude pinned to the current low end near the 66.00 handle, and the next support zone is seen at August's swing low of 64.50, with resistance sitting at the critical 200-day moving average capping action near 67.60.

Mainstream news outlets - the bulk of whom have expressed their dislike of Trump in no uncertain terms - viewed this latest development as an about-face, but it fell upon Ellen Wald, president of Transversal Consulting, to explain his tactics to those who have not followed his decades of business deals or read his books. The President did not elaborate.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 40 cents at $75.51 a barrel by 1410 GMT.

The United States has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110 billion worth of USA goods. There are signs the impact will be mitigated, as some buyers win partial exemptions while other producers - particularly Saudi Arabia - pump more to fill the gap. Oil ministry officials said they would prefer to comment only after the USA government officially conveyed its decision.

Record production from the United States and post-Soviet Russia, along with a big move upward in output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has culminated in a move to the exits by speculators.

S&P Global Platts reports Iranian crude shipments to Indian refiners hit 600,000 bpd in September before declining to 500,000 bpd in October, a level expected to be maintained this month as well. Iran is expected to lose 100,000 bpd in October, according to estimates from a tanker-tracking firm.

The U.S. has reportedly broadly agreed to grant India a waiver from the sanctions, after Iran's second-largest oil customer had agreed to reduce Iranian imports by a third in 2018-2019, India's The Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the issue.

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