Crude poised for monthly gain amid Iran nuclear accord prospects

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Although Brent dropped by 1% on Wednesday due to tension over United States sanctions on Iran which later eased a bit after Tuesday's talks between the USA and French presidents, other factors contributing to high oil prices still remain strong.

A measure of oil market volatility climbed to the highest level in two weeks.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 3 cents to $68.16 a barrel.

After going through the Monday morning Southside test on the back of rising oil drilling rig counts, WTI Crude Oil rallied around $2 towards 69.35 in NY, as traders remain singularly focused on the Iran nuclear deal.

"We are working to shift from a year-to-year agreement to a 10 to 20 year agreement", Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Reuters in a story last month.

Futures in NY are up 3.8 percent this month, even after a 1 percent drop on Monday, following data that showed an increase in US drilling activity.

OIL IS poised for a second monthly advance, propelled by the prospect of a disruption in Iranian supplies and as Opec closes in on its target of wiping out a global glut. A May 12 deadline is looming for U.S. President Donald Trump to decide whether to pull out from an Iran nuclear deal or reimpose sanctions.

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Officials are reportedly investigating the videos for further clues into the murders, according to AFP . Others show images of young gang members in poor neighborhoods brandishing weapons and taking drugs.

Trump will decide by May 12 whether to restore USA sanctions on Tehran, which would likely result in a reduction of its oil exports. Prices are up 5.2% for the month.

"But if the not part of the deal, then there really is no deal", Yawger said.

In the US, working oil rigs rose by five last week to 825, the highest level since March 2015, according to data from Baker Hughes.

The recent Dollars strength has negatively impacted Gold as the intensity of the USD correction caught most traders by surprise. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$6.43 premium to June WTI. The rig fleet has expanded throughout the entire month of April, adding a total of 28. "Since the market is already tight because of the high production outages in Venezuela and the production cuts implemented by OPEC and Russian Federation, any further reduction of supply weighs all the more heavily", the bank said.

USA crude's discount to Brent hit its widest since December 28 at $6.74 a barrel. Investors are assessing if surging USA production, which has topped 10 million barrels a day every week since early February, will undermine efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance the market via output cuts.

But while USA producers are accelerating shale drilling in areas in the United States, higher production has not necessarily translated into stronger refining results for some oil companies.