Oil prices dip amid expectations of higher USA inventories

Washington said this month it would consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers such as India, although it said they would eventually have to halt imports from Iran, the third biggest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in India are at record highs and the government has cut its excise tax on fuel to ease some of the pain for consumers. And we have seen sanctions on Iran.

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.

Oil prices edged up in cautious trade on Tuesday as expectations of higher US shale output and inventories vied with worries that crude supply from the Middle East could be disrupted by looming USA sanctions on Iran and growing tensions with top exporter Saudi Arabia.

USA sanctions against Saudi Arabia could lead to a huge spike in oil prices to $300 per barrel, something that Trump would not like, the analyst notes.

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

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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.

According to Refinitiv Eikon data, Iranian exports of crude oil have declined to 1.33 million bpd, a sharp contrast to April's 2.5 million bpd, before the U.S. withdrew from the Iranian accord amidst harsh criticism, and USA pressure on allies to cease purchases of Iranian-sourced crude appear to be working, dragging oil prices steadily higher on the higher timeframes.

Khalid al-Falih, the energy minister of the kingdom, said it will continue to be responsible and help keep oil markets stable.

Pradhan had last week said two state-owned oil refiners have booked import of 1.25 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran in November.

Saudi Aramco has an initial pact to take a 25 percent stake in the planned 1.2 million bpd West Coast refinery.

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