Oil prices edge up on surprise drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles

Committed to meet India's oil demand: Saudi Energy Minister

Saudi oil output expected to rise next month: Falih

Given the impact of rising oil prices on the rupee and India's trade deficit, his motivations were clear.

Brent crude was down 50 cents a barrel at $80.28 by 1320 GMT.

The oil exchange is a mechanism that attempts to sidestep the US sanctions, which are being reimposed following the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal, by allowing private companies to buy the crude at auction in Tehran and then resell it privately on the open market.

Al-Falih explained that a number of segments were being considered such as petrochemicals, refining, crude oil storage and retail petroleum as well as solar energy He added that Saudi Arabia's largest mining company, Maaden, was looking to make inroads into India's fertiliser industry, specifically the production of phosphate fertiliser.

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The Russian government is no longer capping oil output increases by local producers, one of the country's top energy companies, Gazprom Neft, said on Tuesday, signalling that Moscow's supply-restraint pact with OPEC has effectively expired for now.

"We are seeing a well-supplied and balanced oil market right now". The global benchmark, which hit a more than two-week low late last week as equity markets dropped, is trading about $5 below a four-year high of $86.74 marked on October 3. US President Donald Trump had in May withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the nation.

Saudi Arabia has denied it was responsible for the disappearance of Khashoggi.

While most oil analysts have attributed the sharp rise of premium crude prices since April to over $80 a barrel at least in part to the loss of Iranian exports, the USA special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, told reporters in Paris on October 15 that the market is doing fine with less Iranian oil. And we have seen sanctions on Iran.

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United States crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a build of 2.2 million barrels, American Petroleum Institute data showed after Tuesday's settlement.

Tensions have flared between the USA and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist with the Washington Post who was critical of the Middle East nation.

Inventory data from the US Energy Department's Energy Information Administration is due at 1430 GMT on Wednesday.

With the world's only sizable spare oil output capacity, Saudi Arabia is expected to export more to offset the loss of Iranian oil supply from the sanctions.

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