IEA warns of oil price rise as sanctions on Iran bite

14 Septembre, 2018, 01:48 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Oil futures rose on Wednesday, with Brent reaching $80 a barrel, after a larger-than-expected drop in United States crude inventories and as U.S. sanctions on Iran added to concerns over global oil supply.

US crude inventories fell 5.3 million barrels in the week to September 7 to 396.2 million barrels, the lowest since February 2015 and about 3 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

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

Brent crude futures were last down 23 cents on the day at $78.83 a barrel by 3pm, having touched a session peak of $79.66, the highest since late May, when the price broke above $80.

US crude stocks fell 5.3 million barrels in the week to September 7 to 396.2 million barrels, the lowest since February 2015 and about 3 percent below the five-year average for this time of year, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

The Persian country will by November 4 see a slew of countries already abandoning oil supply contracts and the rest scrambling for alternatives as crushing USA sanctions on Iran threaten to impose additional sanctions on those defying the ban on crude imports from the country.

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"We think oil market fundamentals are increasingly supportive of crude prices, at least at current levels", said Gordon Gray, HSBC's global head of oil and gas equity research.

With Middle East crude markets also tightening because of the USA sanctions against Iran, many Asian refiners are seeking alternative supplies, with South Korean and Japanese imports of US crude hitting a record in September. "This is a huge uncertainty on the market - how countries, which buy nearly 2 million barrels per day of Iranian oil, will act".

In its monthly report, OPEC said world oil demand next year would rise by 1.41 million barrels per day (bpd), 20,000 bpd less than last month and the second consecutive reduction in the forecast.

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.

"Second-largest producer Iraq boosted its output 90,000 bpd to 4.65 million bpd". Ahead of the sanctions, South Korea has become the first of Iran's top three oil importers to drop imports to zero after halting purchases in August from 194k barrels in July.

But it said rising demand could also be checked.

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