S Korea Suspends Iran Oil Loading under US Pressure

11 Juillet, 2018, 15:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • American oil producers may find a new friend in India as they brace for a trade war with China that could curb US shipments

On Wednesday, Trump said OPEC is "driving oil prices higher", urging the cartel to reduce the price at the soonest. In May, Washington announced it was walking away from an global deal on Iran's nuclear program, and said it would impose fresh sanctions on Iran's energy sector.

This has had traders anxious that the market is in for a shortage, which will cause prices to jump even higher, with some forecasting Brent at over US$100 a barrel.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's ambassador to the OPEC, said the strong rhetoric by Trump against OPEC and oil producers could soon push up crude prices to as high as $100 per barrel.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, is facing United States sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases.

After pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the U.S. has asked India to stop importing oil from Iran.

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Iran threatened to block oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for USA efforts to reduce Iranian oil sales to zero.

"Mr. Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the market", Zanganeh said, "Trump's order to OPEC members to increase production is a great insult to those governments and nations, and destabilizes the market".

Brent, the worldwide benchmark, is now trading at $US77 a barrel. United States crude futures added 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $74.09. "As such, we believe that a sustained period of Brent above $80 and $75 for WTI will lead to demand destruction becoming more likely, through a combination of enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in the global economy", analysts said. In late June, it demanded its allies halt all imports of Iranian oil from November and said exemptions were unlikely. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to July 6, bringing the total count to 863. In fact, it could take as long as a year to boost production by 2 million bpd. That compares with averages of $50.85 in 2017 and $43.47 in 2016. Iran also accused Trump of being the reason for the surge in oil prices through his sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, both members of OPEC.

But according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the kingdom has not produced more than 10.42 million bpd on an annual basis (2016) or 10.63 million bpd in a single month (July 2016) in the last 20 years.

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