Oil Approaching $80 Per Barrel As Global Supply Concerns Increase



The cost of oil is making a run for its highest level this year Wednesday, after a drop in U.S. crude inventories and as the prospect of the loss of Iranian supply added to concerns over the delicate balance between consumption and production.

Brent crude futures were last up 14 cents on the day at $79.20 a barrel, having touched a session peak of $79.66, the highest since late May, when the price broke above $80.

U.S. crude futures are up 61 cents to $69.86 a barrel.

U.S. crude stocks fell by 8.6 million barrels in the week to Sept. 7 to 395.9 million, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecast for U.S. crude output growth in 2019.

Outside the United States, traders have been focusing on the impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran that will target oil exports from November.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for oil demand growth in 2019 in its monthly report and said rising challenges in some emerging and developing countries could negatively impact global economic growth.

OPEC said it expects demand growth of 1.41 million bpd in 2019, a 20,000-bpd downgrade from its previous forecast.

Oil traders were also watching the progress of category 4 Hurricane Florence that is expected to make landfall by Friday.

Crude output will not be affected by the "monster" storm, but the evacuation of more than a million residents, as well as businesses, has prompted a near-term spike in fuel demand.