Friday, 16 November, 2018

Global Geopolitical Series: US warns against allowing Iranian tankers to port

Secretary Jeremy Hunt Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Cristina Norman | 09 November, 2018, 23:00

The WTI crude oil is trading slightly bearish a day after Washington allowed sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, fell 92 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $71.15 a barrel by 12:59 p.m. EDT (1759 GMT).

China's crude imports rose 32 percent in October compared with a year earlier to 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd), customs data showed.

The U.S. "sincerely hopes" accidents do not occur, he said, but he noted that an Iranian tanker was involved in an accident in the East China Sea in January that resulted in the loss of the ship and a massive oil spill.

A barrel of USA light crude oil, which hit a near four-year high of $76.41 on 3 October, was today trading as low as $60.06, representing a drop of 21%.

"I think that you're going to see even more sanctions coming into play over time and much tighter enforcement of the sanctions", Bolton told reporters in Paris. "After the U.S. mid-term elections, we would also expect Saudi Arabia and GCC allies to reduce supply slowly to allow the physical markets to absorb the excess crude first (other than Iranian barrels)", said the report.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $70.69 a barrel, 4c above their last close.

The sanctions aim to isolate Iran by choking off its main source of revenue - oil exports - and they are enforced through the imposition of penalties on companies that continue to do business with Iran.

Russia, itself a target of separate United States sanctions, expected there would be ways to pursue economic cooperation with Iran despite the U.S. sanctions, he added. "Opec and Russian Federation may use cuts to support US$70 per barrel", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

"This also came at a time where the U.S., Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia had been boosting oil to record levels", McQueen added.

"Once again, the USA has shown that when it is economic to do so, it can increase production at a greater pace than Saudi Arabia", Olivier Jakob, a strategist at Petromatrix, said.

Futures in NY gained 1 per cent. Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gathering in Abu Dhabi this weekend will discuss options for 2019 including the scenario of fresh supply cuts, said delegates.

In the USA, crude production increased to 11.6 million barrels per day last week, the highest level on record, according to Energy Information Administration data. "The reality is that we're still in a world where we're overproducing and we've got surplus".

The slump in oil markets has been exacerbated by a United States decision to allow eight countries to continue importing from Iran even after the U.S. hits the Opec member with sanctions.

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