Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Oil prices climb as Iran sanctions loom

Oil prices climb as Iran sanctions loom Oil prices near $80 a barrel - but could $100 oil be on the cards?
Priscilla Morrison | 14 September, 2018, 01:49

"Going forward, economic uncertainty, and hence questions surrounding global oil demand, coupled with geopolitical tensions, will need to be factored into maintaining a balanced market in the months to come", the report said.

Oil traders were also watching the progress of category 4 Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall in the United States by Friday.

USA crude stocks fell by 8.6 million barrels in the week to September 7 to 395.9 million, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday.

USA sanctions on Iran's energy industry, which come into force in November, have already cut supply back to two-year lows, while falling Venezuelan output and unplanned outages elsewhere will also keep the balance between supply and demand tight, the IEA said. This comes amid the Iranian oil sanctions which are set to be imposed on November 4th, while the U.S. have also demanded nations to drop Iranian imports to zero.

Crude oil prices gained traction on Tuesday and finally staged a decisive recovery with the barrel of West Texas Intermediate breaking above the $69 mark.

"Markets ... are expecting substantial price pressure as Iran sanction loom", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 50 cents at $77.87 a barrel by 0750 GMT.

The Economic Times (ET), an Indian daily said Iran now exports about 2 million barrels a day which is already 28% less than what they used to export in April.

More news: The biggest announcements from Apple's iPhone Xs event

Global oil output hit a record last month, and the IEA sees continued increases in oil production.

S&P global Platts said OPEC, in a report, indicated demand for the organization's own crude oil in September will be nearly 1 million bpd more than the level produced in August.

That price range could be "tested" as the oil market enters "a very crucial period", the Paris-based agency said in its monthly report.

Their combined output has risen by 3.8 million bpd since September 2014, more than the peak output Iran has managed over the last three years.

"Second-largest producer Iraq boosted its output 90,000 bpd to 4.65 million bpd".

"World demand will average 98.82 million bpd in 2018, a demand growth of 1.62 million bpd", said S&P.

Although the shipment hiatus is unlikely to signal that China has been purposefully scaling back purchases to comply with US pressure to have Iranian oil sales at zero, it could mean that Chinese refiners were looking for better terms for Iranian oil purchases, according to Bloomberg.

WTI was pushed over $70 during the previous session due to falling crude inventory and production levels.

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