Brent crude traded at around $85.30 on Wednesday, up around 0.6 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at around $75.55, more than 0.4 percent higher.
European Union is contemplating setting up a "special goal vehicle" to facilitate trade with Iran and India is looking to use it to settle the issue of payment for imported oil from Iran.
Prices of alternative Middle Eastern sour crudes surged to four-year highs, with the Platts December Dubai crude benchmark rising to $82.95/b earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the details of a private and "secret" deal reached between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, a deal that was aimed at increasing oil output in order to offset the coming shock to oil prices that will follow USA efforts to starve Iran of its oil revenues.
"Brent front-month prices are up 6 percent over the last week as it becomes increasingly apparent that Iranian exports could fall below 1 million barrels per day in November", said U.S. bank Jefferies on Friday.
Last month, Indian buyers lifted purchases of Iranian crude to 502,000 bpd, up 111,000 bpd over August, in "a last gasp" of purchases 'before sanctions actually hit, ' a US-based trader said, adding that those additional barrels displaced U.S. crude.
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The currency is also set to face an onslaught from last month's decision by the US Federal Reserve to increase the Federal Funds Rate to a range of up to 2.25 per cent from the 1.75 per cent set in June 2018.
But the United States continues to insist that it expects Iranian oil buyers to bring their purchases down to zero.
Saudi Arabia is now pumping about 10.7 million barrels a day - close to a record - and can add a further 1.3 million "if the market needs that", Salman told Bloomberg.
In the short-term, prices will go up but it won't last, Barclays predicts.
U.S. bank Jefferies said there was enough oil to meet demand, but "global spare capacity is dwindling to the lowest level that we can document".
There were also reports from Saudi Arabia claiming that it has raised output in October and will further hike production in November. But Russia, China, and the three European powers that also signed the deal have continued to honor it and are working with Iran on ways to evade the USA sanctions. "Donald, if you want to find the culprit for the rise in prices, you need to look in the mirror".
"Saudi Arabia's effort to ramp up production seems to be only enough to mitigate the effect of lower supply from Iran and Venezuela, but not fully replace it", said Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.