Oil prices are on track for a slight weekly gain as traders grow cautiously bullish despite a strengthening U.S. dollar and speculation on another rate hike from the Fed.

This week has seen the first replenishment of US SPR stocks in more than two weeks and another week-on-week decline in oil inventories (albeit a meager 0.7 MMbbls), prices have been trending sideways as bullish indicators were capped by a stronger US dollar and resurgent speculation about the upcoming OMC meeting of the Federal Reserve next week. With this, ICE Brent remains around $80 per barrel whilst WTI hovers slightly above $76 per barrel.

US to ban SPR sales to China.The US Senate overwhelmingly (85-14) voted in favor of an amendment to the annual defense bill that would ban exports of strategic petroleum reserves to China, although last year there were only 2 MMbbls sold to Chinese buyers, a fraction compared to “normal” crude sales.

Iran courts India over crude purchases renewal. Iranian authorities indicated they were ready to provide India with a “special priority”, seeking to renew exports to one of Tehran’s key customers before 2019 as before the sanctions kicked in Indian buyers were buying an average 500-600,000 b/d of oil. 

Oil service companies shine as majors’ revenues wane.The big three oilfield service companies – Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Halliburton – are set to post combined Q2 profits of $2.04 billion, up 60% year-on-year as revenues from offshore drilling and Middle Eastern onshore projects are soaring.