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The release of the photographs and video raises pressure on Saudi Arabia a week after Mr Khashoggi disappeared during a visit to the consulate.

It last sold a Sokol cargo for loading in late November at a premium of $5.80 to $5.90 a barrel to Dubai quotes to Chevron, they said. And Saudi Arabia and OPEC and non-OPEC countries, they've produced 1.5 million barrels a day.

In its World Economic Outlook released late on October 8, the International Monetary Fund said Iran's oil-driven economy is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent this year as a result of declining oil exports, with the drop in economic output accelerating to 3.6 percent in 2019.

In reaction to bin Salman's claims, the Iranian minister of petroleum said "neither Saudi Arabia nor any other [oil] producer" have such a production capacity.

"The market and rising prices are the best evidence of concern that the market is in short supply and is rightly nervous about the severe shortage of oil in the coming months", he added.

But Innes warned that limited spare production to deal with further supply disruptions meant "the capacity is quickly declining due to Asia's insatiable demand".

As the Iran sanctions still on the table and looming large, potential spare capacity constraints and also slowdown in USA drilling, U.S. bank JP Morgan said in its most recent cross-asset outlook for clients that it recommended to "stay long Jan '19 WTI on supply risks to crude". The first round of sanctions took effect in August with a second round expected in early November.

While Washington has said it wants to cut Iran's oil exports to zero, Iran and Saudi Arabia say that is unlikely.

The report of just a small crude build eased fears that had pressured oil prices after US government data on Wednesday showed a large build in the USA commercial crude stockpile. "We continue to have conversations with the government of Iraq about that particular issue and the implications for the reimposition of sanctions that were previously lifted or even waived under the JCPOA", Nauert said.

USA sanctions against Iran will kick in from November 4, which will block payment routes. It wasn't immediately clear if Washington had granted waivers for the imports.

During his week-long trip from October 10-17, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook will engage "allies and partners on our shared" need to counter the entirety of the Iranian regime's destructive behaviour in the Middle East, and in their own neighbourhoods, the State Department said yesterday.

For rupee payments, oil companies could use UCO Bank or IDBI Bank to route oil payments to Iran, sources said. "This is an obvious fact".

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on growing evidence of falling crude exports from Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, before the imposition of new USA sanctions and a partial shutdown in the Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Michael.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.