Crude oil prices have fallen following a rise in inventories and the US Federal Reserve’s interest rates hike this week.

The US crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 edged down 9 cents at $34.86 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 increased 12 cents at $37.18 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Data revealed by the news agency found that traders are expecting further drop in crude prices in 2016 and are taking up put options to sell US crude in February in case prices decline to $30, $25 or even $20 per barrel.

"Iran crude exports are expected to fully return to the market during the first quarter of 2016 if sanction are lifted."

Beginning February 2016, the northern hemisphere peak heating demand season will come to an end, which would lead to lower energy and fuel demand during spring and summer.

At that time, Iran crude exports are expected to fully return to the market during the first quarter of 2016 if sanctions against Tehran are lifted.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data revealed that crude inventories in the US increased by 4.8 million barrels last week.

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OPEC secretary-general Abdullah al-Badri said that crude oil prices at seven-year lows globally will not continue and may swing upwards soon.

OPEC is set to launch its World Oil Outlook on 23 December 2015 which highlights that by 2040, oil and gas supply will account for around 53% of the global energy demand.

Oil demand is projected to be at 110Mb/d by 2040.