Oil prices rose on Wednesday following a report that crude inventories in the United States fell and as looming sanctions against Iran raised expectations of tightening supplies, with top producer Russian Federation warning of a "fragile" global crude market.
US crude stocks fell last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Gasoline futures jumped 5.5 cents to settle at $2.0142 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 climbed 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $79.34 a barrel.
The EIA's most recent weekly ethanol production data shows production reached 1.087 million barrels per day the week ending August 31, up from 1.07 million barrels per day the previous week.
While US policy on sanctions against Iran has helped to support the oil price in recent weeks, its trade wars with China and Turkey are competing as a downward drag on the market. In August, rising output in Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia offset declines in Iran, which is about to face new US sanctions that are already hurting Iranian exports, and in Venezuela.
Unlike the 2012-2015 Western sanctions on Iran, this time around only the United States is slapping sanctions on Iran's economy and oil industry.
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Despite fear of disruptions to global oil supplies and curbs on production, OPEC sees global oil supplies as sufficient - it's demand people should be worrying about.
Latest reports suggest that Iran has begun to store oil in its own tankers off its coasts ahead of the U.S. sanctions.
OPEC said it expected demand growth of 1.41 million bpd in 2019, a 20,000-bpd downgrade from its previous forecast. "The situation should be closely watched, the right decisions should be taken", he said.
The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that although the oil market was tightening at the moment and world oil demand would soon reach 100 million barrels per day (bpd), global economic risks were mounting.
Venezuela, which is pumping at just half the rate it managed in early 2016, could see its output slump another 19 percent to 1 million barrels a day this year as infrastructure deteriorates and workers flee, the agency predicted.
"We underestimated the degree to which New Delhi and Beijing would concede to Washington's demands", it said in a briefing note.
Prices were also pushed up by Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall on the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and which has caused fuel shortages following the evacuation of millions of households and businesses.