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The week began with a sharp drop in oil quotations, while the price of the October futures for Brent crude at trading on August 2 fell at a minimum of $ 2.82 to $ 72.34 per barrel. WTI fell $ 3.07 to $ 70.58 a barrel.

The problems of a slowdown in business activity in China and an increase in cases of the delta strain were the main factors that put pressure on oil prices. China's Manufacturing PMI, which reflects the health of the economy, fell to 50.4 in July from 50.9 in June. Another important indicator has also declined - crude oil imports to China. In the first half of the year, it fell by 3% for the first time since 2013. In the first half of 2021, the world's largest importer of crude oil imported 260.66 million tons of crude, or about 10.51 million barrels per day. Imports in June amounted to 9.77 million barrels per day, while last year this figure was 12.9 million since August.

Meanwhile, Iran's oil ministry commissioned a major port on the Persian Gulf coast, which will facilitate the export of oil products from the South Pars energy hub. The export and service port of Siraf was opened by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. More than $ 350 million was spent on its construction. The port itself is located in the southwestern province of Bushehr, has two marinas, which will be intended for the export of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and sulfur. Products will be supplied directly from nearby natural gas refineries. The pipelines connecting five South Pars refineries to Siraf will export 5,000 cubic meters of LPG per hour.

The data on US oil reserves released this week showed that commercial reserves (excluding the strategic reserve) for the week ended July 30, rose by 0.8%, or 3.6 million barrels - to 439.2 million barrels. The country's strategic oil reserve remained at the previous week's level of 621.3 million barrels, the country's Energy Ministry said. At the same time, oil reserves at the country's largest terminal in Cushing for the reporting week fell to 34.9 million from 35.4 million barrels a week earlier. Gasoline stocks in the United States for the week fell by 5.3 million barrels (2.3%), to 228.9 million barrels. Analysts predicted the decline of only 1.8 million barrels. Distillate stocks rose 0.8 million barrels, or 0.6%, to 138.7 million barrels, while they were forecast to decline by 0.5 million barrels.

On Thursday the market saw a correction, within which the price of October futures for Brent crude rose by 0.57% to $ 70.78 per barrel. September futures for WTI rose in price by 0.6% - up to $ 68.56 per barrel.

Overall, the week turned out to be the worst since October 2020 - world oil prices fell by more than 7%. On Friday, oil prices rose, but failed to stay in the "green zone". In general, over the week Brent crude oil fell by 7.4%, WTI - by 7.7%. Meanwhile, according to Baker Hughes, the number of operating oil rigs in the US for the week ended Aug. 6 rose by two to 387 units.

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