Oil prices pared their gains on Tuesday, after global benchmark Brent crude rose above $73 a barrel, as the market grew less anxious that a rebellion against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would hit the country's crude exports.
Markets also keenly watched Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaido called for an uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.
"The possibility that Guaido will take control of the situation isn't as strong as perceived this morning", said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in NY.
USA crude stocks rose by 6.8 million barrels to 466.4 million barrels in the week to April 26, the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, said on Tuesday.
USA crude stocks rose by 6.8 million barrels to 466.4 million barrels in the week to April 26, industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, implying a rise in US crude supply. Official government data is due on Wednesday.
Earlier in 2012, sanctions imposed on Tehran by the Obama administration had forced India to reduce its Iranian oil imports by half.
"Last year, we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day", Torbati said, speaking to reporters at an energy conference in Tehran on Wednesday.
"The situation appears to be getting much worse, rather than better", said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
"Recent comments from (Saudi Energy Minister Khalid) al-Falih confirm our view that the kingdom will respond cautiously with other oil producers and not pre-emptively ramp up production", said Giovanni Staunovo, analyst at UBS in Zurich. China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said, "Here I'd like to repeat my answer that China firmly opposes the unilateral sanctions and so-called "long-arm jurisdictions" imposed by the U.S.". The OPEC-led production cuts continued to provide the most support. Traders were looking for a 2.093 million barrel build.
"That's modestly supportive of prices", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.
China has rejected United States pressure and promised to continue imports, with other countries, including Turkey, India and South Korea urging the USA to reconsider its stance and renew the exemptions.