Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Trump crushes Iran oil exports ahead of sanctions

Iran OPEC chief: 'Saudi and Russia are taking oil market hostage' Oil dips as China-US trade tensions deepen
Lloyd Bates | 22 September, 2018, 14:27

Elsewhere, Russia's energy minister, Alexander Novak, said on Monday that the country was ready to discuss cooperation with the United States to balance the oil market.

Still, OPEC will face rising anger from Iran, one of the cartel's top producers.

The US has also asked Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia to make up for the difference, something which has allowed those to countries to take up "hostage taking policies in the market", according to Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, the AP report added.

Washington is pushing allies to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero and will impose a new round of sanctions on Iranian oil sales in November. Energy ministers of Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, and Russian Federation said in May they were prepared to ease output cuts to calm consumer worries about supply.

Crude oil prices peaked at a near-term high of with WTI tapping into 70.40 on Tuesday, but was unable to make a challenge of last week's high of 71.25 after U.S. oil inventories showed yet another surprise build-up in their barrel counts yesterday.

USA oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday, bolstered by a fifth weekly crude inventory drawdown and strong domestic gasoline demand, amid ongoing supply concerns over US sanctions on Iran that come into force in November.

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However, the report also added that Barkindo did not specify how the market, which is already tight, could make up for the loss of supply from a key producer like Iran.

Saudi officials were careful to avoid pinpointing a price target in their conversations, saying that while the kingdom has no desire to push prices higher than $80 a barrel, it may no longer be possible to avoid it. Concern over supply overshadowed a surprise increase in USA oil inventories.

Prices pared gains in post-settlement trade after data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed US crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to September 14 to 397.1 million, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

OPEC members received approximately US$567 billion in net oil export revenues in 2017, up 29% from revenues in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

"Traders are ignoring today's API data given while focusing on news from the Middle East", Stephen Innes, head of Trading for APAC at OANDA wrote in a note.

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