LONDON: Oil fell more than $1 a barrel to below $79 on Thursday as the fourth weekly increase in US crude inventories suggested ample supply, while Saudi-US tension and falling Iranian exports lent support.
US crude inventories rose 6.5 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, the fourth straight weekly increase and almost three times what analysts had forecast.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down $1.07 at $78.98 a barrel at 1330 GMT. It has dropped almost $8 since reaching $86.74, the highest since late 2014, on October 3. US crude was down $1.07 at $68.68.
“Stocks are building,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix. “It’s a continuous trend. Week after week, it does start to add up.”
Oil had been rising this week on concern about a decline in Iranian exports due to US sanctions and tension between the United States and Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.