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"The rout continues for oil prices, which is on course for its longest losing streak on record (oil declining for 10 consecutive sessions) with WTI dropping below $60 and Brent cracking $70", DailyFX analyst Justin McQueen told UPI.

Those eight countries are Iran's biggest customers and account for around three-quarters of the Islamic Republic's oil exports.

"The presence of Iranian barrels in the physical markets will be superfluous".

The United States is warning other countries not to allow Iranian oil tankers into their territorial waters or ports, saying such access may run afoul of US sanctions and not only incur penalties, but also result in catastrophic economic and environmental damage should an accident occur.

But it is not only the United States that has meaningfully raised oil production in recent weeks.

"It's with some satisfaction that I noticed today the price of oil is down".

A barrel of U.S. light crude oil, which hit a near four-year high of $76.41 on 3 October, was today trading as low as $60.06, representing a drop of 21%. Still, Brent is poised for an nearly 3 percent drop for the week, its fifth straight week of decline.

S&P 500 posted its worst monthly drop in seven years.

Oil markets stabilized on Friday but remained weak as rising supply and concerns of an economic slowdown pressured prices, with U.S. crude down by around 20 percent since early October.

Trump can claim some credit for the third factor behind the oil price pullback.

The Trump administration on Monday reinstated sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping industries, marking the end of a 180-day grace period the US set for oil buyers to reduce to zero imports from Iran. -China trade dispute and currency weakness in emerging markets is also raising questions about oil demand.

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Despite the well supplied market, Razaqzada warned that it would be "increasingly costly for inefficient producers to maintain output at current levels". He said the US has evidence that Iranian vessels are trying to evade USA sanctions by disabling location transponders used to prevent collisions.

While Trump frequently criticizes OPEC publicly, his administration actually depends on the cartel to offset the impact of its Iran policy.

Production has not just risen in the United States, but also in many other countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Brazil, stoking producer concerns of a return of oversupply that depressed oil prices between 2014 and 2017.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Friday it was continuing to take oil from Iranian oilfields in which it has ownership stakes.

Brent crude futures fell 68 cents to $71.39 a barrel by 1453 GMT, having backed off a session high of $73.08, while USA crude futures fell 72 cents to $60.95.

"Our main co-operation with Iran is upstream investment".

Washington and the recipients of the waivers have not disclosed how much oil they are allowed to import, or under what conditions deals can still be made.

Those fears have since eased, but a committee of OPEC members and allied countries recently warned that producers may begin cutting output once again.

"This means that the price is today a greater solver to the crude oil balance than in the past, when there was no solver apart from the supply policy of Saudi Arabia".

"OPEC was feeling the Trump pressure but producers took action with the thinking that they just needed to get past the US election", said Joe McMonigle, analyst at Hedgeye in Washington, in a note Wednesday. "We have calibrated this very well".


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