USA sanctions affecting Iran's oil exports come into force on November 4 and many buyers have already scaled back Iranian purchases.
As the market evaluates the impact of sanctions on Iran, a growing trade dispute between the USA and China has the potential to weigh on demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, including the world's biggest producer Russian Federation, are meeting on September 23 in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of Iranian oil supply. "It casts doubts on whether Saudi Arabia will increase output to compensate for the loss of Iranian crude once sanctions come into effect", said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
Beijing on Tuesday quickly added US$60 billion of United States products to its import tariff list in retaliation for President Donald Trump's planned levies on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Iranian crude oil exports continue to decline.
USA crude inventories fell 2.1 million barrels last week to 394.1 million barrels, the lowest level since February 2015, government data showed.
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US crude stockpiles rose by 1.2 million barrels to 397.1 million in the week to September 14, the American Petroleum Institute said.
Meanwhile, ministers from Opec nations and non-Opec producers are set to meet on Sunday to discuss compliance with output policies.
Saudi Arabia has mentioned several times recently that they have no desire to push oil prices over $80/barrel, a move higher may be unavoidable as U.S. sanctions on Iran are set to come into effect beginning November 4th. Speculation has also been swirling over whether a potential supply gap can be filled as American sanctions curb Iran's oil exports.
Official U.S. government data is due to be released on Wednesday.
The tariffs are likely to limit economic activity in both China and the United States, potentially hitting growth in demand for oil as less fuel is consumed to move goods for trade.
Crude oil futures rose more than 1% Tuesday on signs OPEC would not be prepared to raise output to address shrinking supplies from Iran, and as Saudi Arabia signaled an informal target near current levels.