WTI crude futures traded around $68 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest since July 21th as rising inventories added to worries over a gloomy demand outlook. The EIA Petroleum Status Report showed a surprise build in US crude stocks last week, which was the biggest rise since the first week of May. Also, both the US and China are witnessing a spike in coronavirus cases amid the highly contagious delta variant, threatening demand at the peak summer driving season and limiting air traffic. Yet, Saudi Aramco lifted oil prices for the US by 10-20 cents a barrel and Asia by 20-60 cents a barrel for September as the oil market is nonetheless seen tight on the back of the global economic recovery from last year’s Covid-19 crisis. Limitting the decline was renewed tensions in the Middle East, seen as a step back for nuclear deal talks between Iran and world powers.