U.S. considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

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"The Iran factor is the primary near-term price driver and as such spikes will be the norm in the coming weeks", Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note published Wednesday.

The Saudi prince contended in the Bloomberg interview that the most recent sharp rise in prices to over $80 a barrel is actually being driven by output losses in other countries, not Iran.

Kenyatta University economics lecturer Francis Omondi predicts that Brent crude oil prices will reach the $100 per barrel mark before the end of the year, which last happened in 2014, when the prices reaching $112.

Oil prices are up on the week overall despite a large build in crude oil prices. It had planned to import 9 million tons of Iranian oil in the 2018-19 fiscal (April 2018 to March 2019) or 0.75 million tons a month.

Like Putin, Al-Falih blamed part of the increase on the market's anticipation of disruptions in Iran and elsewhere, rather than the current balance between supply and demand.

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Crude futures rose to a four-year high this past week as the market prepares for the return of United States sanctions on Iran, the world's seventh largest producer of oil and a significant military power in the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world's oil supply passes each day.

She also said that the ICJ's decision on Iran-U.S. dispute is binding for Washington and must be obeyed. It further added that this is the longest streak of weekly cuts since October a year ago.

Fundamentals indicate a price in the high $70s for Brent, but the reality is seen above that, he said. The US's latest moves were triggered by the ICJ's ruling on October 3 that the former must ensure that its sanctions on Iran did not affect the West Asian nation's humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety, CNBC reported. "I anticipate that November will be slightly higher", he said, potentially breaking the production record set in November 2016. However, the bulls are also keeping an eye on the potential spare capacity constraints and the slowdown in US drilling.

"Cooperation with OPEC is not only an agreement to increase prices, it is an agreement to stabilize prices".

"Saudi Arabia's effort to ramp up production seems to be only enough to mitigate the effect of lower supply from Iran and Venezuela, but not fully replace it", said Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.