(EnergyAsia, November 6 2014, Thursday) — Crude’s relentless drive to test new lows was briefly interrupted on the overnight New York markets by unconfirmed fears of a terror attack in Saudi Arabia and a smaller-than-expected buildup in US crude stocks.

US WTI touched a low of US$76.46 a barrel while North Sea slumped to US$81.63 before rebounding on news of a pipeline explosion near the Saudi capital of Riyadh set off fears, later denied, that terrorists had launched an attack.

Prices were also supported by a US crude stockbuild of 460,000 b/d that was smaller than expected by traders.

Brent climbed back above US$83 while WTI edged towards US$79 at the end of the New York trading day.

Saudi Arabia is coming under pressure from some of its own citizens and other oil producing countries to keep prices from falling further. Goldman Sachs and Barclays Bank have predicted crude could plunge to a new low of US$70 a barrel next year.