OIL PRICE: NOT ABOVE $73
REUTERS - Oil prices seesawed on Friday as markets were lifted by hopes the United States and China may resolve their trade disputes soon, before being weighed down by a report Washington had granted several countries waivers on Iran sanctions.
Front-month Brent crude futures were at $72.88 per barrel at 0737 GMT on Friday, 1 cent below their last close. They first fell on Friday on surging supplies, before rising with global markets and then dipping again on the back of the reported Iran sanctions waivers.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $63.36 a barrel.
Global markets, including oil, were lifted earlier on Friday by hopes that the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies could be resolved soon.
Pulling crude back down, however, was a report that several governments had received waivers that would still allow countries to import some Iranian crude once U.S. sanctions are reimposed from next week.
The U.S. government has agreed to let eight countries, including close allies South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil aid the upcoming sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a U.S. official.
A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the U.S. government were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.
A list of all countries getting waivers is expected to be released officially on Monday, several briefed industry sources said.
Despite these efforts, analysts said any potential Iranian oil sanction waivers would likely only be temporary.
Goldman Sachs said it expects Iran's crude oil exports to fall to 1.15 million bpd by the end of the year, down from around 2.5 million bpd in mid-2018.
"We still expect that the global oil market will be in deficit in 4Q18," the U.S. bank said.
By the end of 2019, however, Goldman expects Brent to fall to $65 a barrel, largely due to "the unleashing of Permian (U.S. shale) supply growth once new pipelines come online."
Beyond Iran sanctions, oil output has been rising significantly in the past two months.
Russian Energy Ministry data showed on Friday that the country pumped 11.41 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in October, a 30-year high, and up from 11.36 million bpd in September.
The Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) boosted oil production in October to 33.31 million bpd, a Reuters survey found this week, up 390,000 bpd from September and the highest by OPEC since December 2016.
In the United States, crude production has established itself well over 11 million bpd, putting the U.S. in a neck and neck race with Russia for the title of top producer.
With Saudi Arabia pumping 10.65 million bpd in October, combined output from the top-three oil producers is at a record 33.41 million bpd, meaning that Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia meet more than a third of the world's almost 100 million bpd of consumption.
"This surge has driven the market into oversupply," Jefferies said.