US will not tap oil reserve as Iran sanctions loom: Perry

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"There had been a growing view in the market that the USA would take such action in order to counter the impact from sanctions on Iran, particularly after OPEC+ members ignored President Trump's request to increase production", Mr. Patterson said.

Washington wants to reduce Iran's oil exports effectively to zero and has threatened sanctions against any country that buys Iranian oil.

Oil traded in London fell 53 cents to settle at $81.34 a barrel on Wednesday.

But he did concede that Seoul hasn't bought any Iranian oil "for three continuous months".

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"The main culprit of the price hikes ... and the destabilisation of the market is Mr Trump and his disruptive and illegal policies", Zanganeh said on state television, after the USA president hit out at OPEC, accusing it of "ripping off the rest of the world". On Tuesday, Brent oil hit $82 per barrel for the first time since 2014. Even so, oil prices briefly subsided, helped by what some called a "surprising" build in USA oil inventories as estimated by the American Petroleum Institute.

Crude oil prices touched new four-year highs yesterday as Brent crude - the global benchmark for crude oil - touched $82.20 a barrel.

Iran's national oil company, National Iranian Oil Company, also subsidises the freight costs for crude oil delivery and offers extended payment terms to buyers.

The SPR now holds about 660 million barrels of mostly sour grade crude in underground caverns in Texas and Louisiana.

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Also, any big jump in prices this fall ahead of US elections would likely lead to President Donald Trump authorizing a release from the country's strategic reserves.

The United States also imposed sanctions on OPEC oil producer Venezuela.

Then, yesterday he told the United Nations General Assembly that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is "ripping off the rest of the world" by pushing up prices. In fact, it has been rising since early 2017, when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), started halting the output to lift crude prices, together with other suppliers including Russian Federation.

Analysts expect sanctions to remove between 500,000 and 1 million barrels per day out of the globe's oil market.

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But the producers declined to announce specific plans to raise production further, seemingly defying calls by Mr. Trump for the cartel to increase output in order to put a cap on prices-sending prices soaring on Monday comfortably above the symbolic $80-a-barrel threshold. "Given the current oil market scenario, we believe prices of crude oil are to rise around $78/bbl -$80/bbl unless the number of rigs deployed by the by the United States are increased", said credit ratings agency CARE Ratings.