Friday, 25 May, 2018

Oil Prices steady: OPEC says it could offset Iranian supply losses

Oil near Nov. 2014 highs firm as markets tighten amid OPEC cuts, Iran sanctions Excess crude account swells as oil price leaps towards $80
Jan Cook | 15 May, 2018, 22:40

OIL held losses below US$71 as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) signalled it has enough spare capacity to mitigate any impact on markets even if renewed USA sanctions on Iran curb exports from the group's third-largest producer.

In 2017, China surpassed the United States to become the world's top crude oil importer as its domestic production declined while it kept the title of world's largest oil consumer for the ninth consecutive year, and while it expanded refining capacity, and reduced restrictions on oil imports and refined oil product exports.

Iran's oil buyers continue to buy its crude, assessing the implications of the sanctions during the 180-day wind-down period.

- USA sanctions against Iran could further tighten the oil market, depending on what restrictions are put on Iranian oil exports.

"The Oil Price Information Service [OPIS] global head of energy analysis blamed fresh geopolitical tensions for his bullish forecast - citing a potential USA military response if Iran resumes its nuclear program, Venezuela's oil production nose diving and "spectacular" global demand", reports CNBC. But how much those exports fall will depend on the reaction of the countries that import Iranian oil: China, France, Russia, U.K.

It remains unclear how hard USA sanctions will hit Iran's oil industry.

BS Yeddyurappa's fate hangs on Karnataka polls
Notably, the Karnataka Assembly has 224 seats and a party or an alliance needs 113-seats to form the government. JD (S) chief HD Deve Gowda is not fond of Siddaramaiah.

Production levels will be a key topic of discussion at the upcoming June 22 OPEC ministerial meeting where the Vienna Agreement, which began in 2017, is expected to be discussed. The previous round of sanctions cut Iran's output in half; it is unclear how much will be cut this time.

In total, South Korea's April crude oil imports were 11.59 million tonnes, or 2.83 million bpd, up 2.5 percent from 11.30 million tonnes from 2017, according to the data.

Analysts wrote "Looking into the next 18 months, we expect global oil supply to demand balances to tighten driven by the ongoing collapse in Venezuelan output".

On Monday, however, markets were held in check by news of a rise in USA drilling for new oil production.

Speaking to analysts, Scaffardi said the lack of Iranian crude supplies would be a problem in terms of prices but not volumes.

However, Iran's overall exports of oil and condensate are no lower than the average of 6 million barrels per day (m/bpd), with 60 percent of exports designated for Asia and another 40 to Europe, said Pirooz Mousavi, who heads the National Iranian Oil Terminals Company (NIOTC), as cited by PressTV news outlet.

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