Oil prices have steadied following concerns over a potential drop in the volume of crude purchased by other countries from Iran due to US sanctions.

Brent futures did not record any change in prices, trading at $77.62 a barrel, while US light crude went down 15 cents to reach $72.61, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, the US demanded all countries to stop buying Iranian oil from November.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal agreed with Iran in 2015, in which economic restrictions on the country were relaxed in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Following a meeting in Vienna last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to raise output in order to moderate oil prices.

“A number of people will be revising higher their assumptions for the loss of Iranian barrels.”

In May, Brent prices reached their highest levels in 3.5 years due to strong demand and tightness in the market caused by voluntary supply cuts by OPEC since January last year.

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BNP Paribas strategist Harry Tchilinguirian was quoted by the news agency as saying: “A number of people will be revising higher their assumptions for the loss of Iranian barrels.

“If we assume that OPEC and its allies will deliver a near one million barrels per day (Mbpd) increase in production, most of it will be offset by lower volumes out of Iran.”

Oil prices also received support from unplanned supply disruptions in Canada, Libya and Venezuela.

Despite US production inching towards 11Mbpd, analysts say the market has little spare capacity to deal with further disruptions.

ANZ Bank said: “With inventories still declining and spare capacity uncomfortably low, there is a very little cushion for any supply disruption caused by rising geopolitical risks.”

The Energy Information Administration indicated that the US commercial crude oil inventories fell by around ten million barrels in the week ending 22 June, to 416.64 million barrels.

Traders predict a further decline in the inventories due to production outage at the Syncrude oil sands facility in Canada.