Additions to the U.S. surplus come amid preoccupations for production reductions prompted by various political situations in the oil-rich Middle East, which the Saudi Arabian oil minister vowed to compensate for. Saudi Arabia is the top-producing member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"The market will hold here, or move higher," senior broker Christopher Bellew with Jefferies Bache in London told the news service. "Iran shows every sign of remaining a source of tension, the struggle in Syria looks like it will be a prolonged stalemate, and the extent to which Saudi can fill the supply shortfall, and for how long, is unknown."
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, crude oil futures fell 0.63 percent, a 79 cent loss to $124.18 per barrel.
The Associated Press reports traders, analysts and investors have been closely eyeing proceedings in Iran, which produces roughly four million barrels of oil per day. The nation is believed to be developing a nuclear weapons program, which raises concerns of Israel and the U.S. and increases the likelihood of either nation dispatching military strikes against nuclear facilities in Iran.
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