By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil costs have been steady on Wednesday as issues a possible resumption in Iranian supply would trigger a glut have been offset by hopes for stronger U.S. gasoline demand after a drop in weekly stock estimates by the American Petroleum Institute.
Brent crude oil futures for July gained 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $68.70 a barrel by 0102 GMT, whereas U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for July was at $66.05 a barrel, down 2 cents.
Both benchmarks edged increased on Tuesday, ending at their highest ranges in per week, amid hopes for rising demand from the strategy of the northern hemisphere’s summer time driving season and lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories fell final week, in response to two market sources, citing API figures on Tuesday.
Crude shares fell by 439,000 barrels within the week ended May 21. Gasoline inventories fell by 2 million barrels and distillate shares fell by 5.1 million barrels, the info confirmed, in response to the sources.
“The API data was good, but investors were paying more attention to the Iran talks because the impact from possible return of Iranian oil to the market is more significant,” mentioned Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at commodities dealer Fujitomi Co.
Iranian authorities spokesman Ali Rabiei mentioned on Tuesday he was optimistic over Tehran reaching an settlement quickly at talks with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, though Iran’s prime negotiator cautioned that severe points remained.
Indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran have resumed in Vienna this week after Tehran and the U.N. nuclear company prolonged a monitoring settlement on the Middle Eastern nation’s atomic program.
Iran and world powers have negotiated in Vienna since April to work out steps that Tehran and Washington should take on sanctions and nuclear actions to return to full compliance with Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.
Analysts have mentioned Iran may present about 1 million to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in further oil supply if a deal is struck and sanctions lifted.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Michael Perry)
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