Oil markets were stable on Wednesday, buoyed by falling supplies from Iran ahead of U.S. sanctions but held in check by rising production outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Oil prices were a shade firmer. Brent added 7 cents to 76.05 dollars a barrel, while U.S. crude rose 9 cents to 68.62 dollars .
Earlier sweet Brent crude oil futures were at 76 dollars per barrel at 0030 GMT, up 5 cents from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 6 cents at 68.59 dollars a barrel.
Traders said crude prices have been supported by the prospect of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which will start to target its oil industry from November.
Bowing to pressure from Washington, many crude buyers have already reduced orders from OPEC’s third-biggest producer.
In spite of Tehran offering steep discounts, the total volume of crude oil, including condensate, to load in Iran this month is estimated at 64 million barrels, or 2.06 million barrels per day (bpd),.
This figure is against Tehran peak of 92.8 million barrels, or 3.09 million bpd, in April, preliminary trade flows data from media showed.