Oil prices dip amid expectations of higher USA inventories

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"Besides, Saudi Arabia has been an active investor in US Treasury bonds since 2004 and, unlike other large holders like Russia, China and Japan, who have sold bonds for the last two years, continued to buy American debt", said Mikhail Mashchenko, an analyst at the social network for investors eToro in Russia and CIS. Given the impact of rising oil prices on the rupee and India's trade deficit, his motivations were clear.

The market has been supported by reports that Iranian crude exports may be falling faster than expected ahead the November 4 deadline on sanctions.

Brent crude was down 80 cents a barrel at $79.98 by 0825 GMT.

The South Korean government has been in talks with the United States government to get exemptions on Iran crude imports.

His comments come amid signs that Iran is scrambling to try to maintain its oil exports, which are declining so fast that the International Monetary Fund last week estimated they had already driven Iran's oil-fueled economy into recession.

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"We don't expect the Kingdom to be as accommodative to the White House requests for stronger production", he said, adding that the Saudis could cut as much as 500,000 barrels per day of production "as a warning shot should the USA opt to impose any type of sanction in response to the Khashoggi developments".

USA oil production has increased steadily over the last five years, reaching a record high of 11.2 million bpd in the week to October 5.

In the January-September period of the year, 110.45 million tonnes of crude oil, were imported into South Korea, almost unchanged from 110.44 million tonnes over the same period last year. US President Donald Trump had in May withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the nation. In the first nine months of the year, South Korea's imports of Iranian oil dropped 49.1 percent to 7.15 million tonnes, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the data.

Tension over the disappearance of a Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey also remain.

Saudi Arabia and UAE on Monday reiterated that the West Asian countries were looking to participate in India's petroleum downstream segment, including petrochemicals, refinery and retail.

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