Milestone for oil prices as Wall St ends a choppy day

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Brent crude futures (LCOc1) gained 85 cents to settle at $79.28 a barrel, while US crude futures gained 18 cents to settle at $71.49 a barrel.

Even at $80 per barrel, the costs of oil are huge, with Asia's consumption costing $1 trillion a year, twice as much as during the price lull of 2015/2016.

Crude oil prices whipsawed first moving higher as Brent oil prices broke through 80-per barrel and then moving lower only to rebound into the close.

Crude prices have received broad support from voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aimed at tightening the market.

"OPEC and Russian Federation have been implementing their policies efficiently", Pouyanne added in reference to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' efforts to clamp down on supply.

Market ripples from Venezuela's economic distress and President Donald Trump's decision this month to exit a joint sanctions deal on Iran's nuclear programme have pushed prices higher.

However, Venezuela's economic crisis, and the prospect of additional USA sanctions following its May 20 elections could hit the market further.

A worker walks at the Zubair oilfield in Basra, Iraq May 9, 2018.

The glut that had weighed on prices for the past three years has finally been eliminated, thanks to strong demand and output cuts by other producers in OPEC, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

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OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it would make sure the world is adequately supplied with oil just as major consumer India expressed frustration with rising prices.

"Global oil demand growth for 2018 has been revised slightly downwards from 1.5 million barrels per day", the IEA said int latest oil supply report.

The oil price is moving higher again Thursday after a minor dip earlier this week.

The two ministers, in a joint statement, blamed volatility in prices on global political tensions.

The rise in oil prices means further accretion to the nation's Excess Crude Account, into which the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budget benchmark is saved to provide a cushion when oil prices fall or extra cash is needed for spending on infrastructure.

Since then it has fallen sharply, sliding below 30 dollars at the start of 2016, thanks to the combination of a supply glut partly thanks to United States shale oil production, and weakness in some economies lowering demand.

The IEA said global oil demand would average 99.2 million bpd in 2018, although US bank Goldman Sachs said consumption would cross 100 million bpd "this summer".

Gasoline inventories were down by 3.8 million barrels last week, after a total 2-million-barrel build in the prior 14 days.