Meanwhile, the United States benchmark crude oil fell 0.24 per cent to $76.23 a barrel, while Brent crude slid 0.22 per cent to $86.10 a barrel. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was able to raise output by 1.3 million barrel per day, but offered no signal that the producer group would do so.
Brent for December delivery was fetching around $85.30 per barrel in late London business versus $81.50 per barrel at the same time the previous week. However, the country's refiners since June have cut purchases of Iranian crude ahead of USA sanctions.
Oil headed for the longest run of weekly gains since the start of 2018 amid concern that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation may not pump enough crude to prevent a supply crunch as Iranian cargoes disappear from world markets.
President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia's king "might not be there for two weeks" without USA military support, further increasing his pressure on one of America's closest Mideast allies over rising oil prices.
Washington's sanctions are set to start on November 4, and analysts say there may not be enough spare production capacity in the short-term to meet demand, potentially requiring large storage drawdowns.
Saudi Arabia is juggling intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to boost output and ease high prices.
"They're taking a pause after yesterday's sell-off", said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. Some cautioned it's not just Iran that will suffer. US officials have said new sanctions will be imposed on Iran's oil sector from November 4. "The supply situation looks fragile indeed, as any additional shortfall such as a deterioration of the situation in Venezuela would tighten oil supplies".
Saudi Arabia, Opec's largest producer, is now pumping about 10.7 million barrels per day, Falih told reporters in Moscow, just shy of the record set in November 2016.
"Admittedly, supply-side concerns are pushing the oil price higher, but there are now clear warning signs on the demand-side, which could yet send prices lower", said Capital Economics in a note to clients.
Russia's Novak was not alone in predicting a return to three-digit price levels last seen in 2014.