Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Easing of oil supply fears 'may be short-lived': IEA

Crude Oil Supply Oil rallies as Iran sanctions kick in
Jan Cook | 10 August, 2018, 14:45

"There is room for [prices in] the crude market to soften a bit more", says John Woods of JJ Woods Associates, adding that inventories could rise further as refineries head toward maintenance season after the summer driving season.

"Crude oil prices rose as the reality of USA sanctions on Iran weighed on sentiment".

Brent crude futures were up 14 cents at $72.42 barrel by 0855 GMT, after having dropped by more than 3 percent on Wednesday.

Of course, the Saudis were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of factors compelling experts on Monday to foresee gloomy times ahead: worry over the USA sanctions against Iran seemed to reach a fever pitch, with Michele Della Vigna, head of energy industry research at Goldman Sachs International, telling Bloomberg, "We are eating very quickly through OPEC's spare capacity... we are going into a very, very tight oil market". The sanctions did not include Iran's oil exports.

USA crude oil producers appear to have found an alternative buyer for cargoes no longer heading to China, with India on track to import record volumes in August.

"While there's still some uncertainty about what will happen to Iranian oil, we think there probably won't be a significant impact on oil prices". However, the U.S. has asked all nations to stop their oil imports from Iran by November 2018 as Trump vouches to bring Iran's oil sales to zero.

The trade war is rattling global markets.

Analysts expect Iranian exports to drop by anything between 500,000 and 1 million b/d after full U.S. sanctions are re-imposed on November 5.

NASA Introduces Nine Astronauts for First Commercial Flights
In fact, NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX billions to fly Americans to and from the International Space Station. The latter as termed by IBM was touted "the first AI companion of human beings in space". "That's a big deal".

While the average price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) amounted to US$69.50 per barrel, higher by US$2.36 compared with June 2018.

Prices drew some support from USA sanctions against Iran, introduced Tuesday in a range of sectors.

"I think the market will need to see the evidence gathering on the loss of Iranian barrels following the re-imposition of USA sanctions before it moves up, and I expect it should become very apparent by the end of this month", Tchilinguirian said. In addition, Libya reopened some of the closed oil ports, which raised the market expectations of the growth of oil supplies.

Last week, a news report said Chinese officials has rejected U.S. requests to cut imports of Iranian oil but added that China's imports might not rise further than current levels. "Unless Iranian oil output falls dramatically, we won't change our view that the Gulf economies will experience a modest recovery over the coming quarters", they said. Both countries placed tariffs on $34 billion in imports earlier this month, and they have threatened much larger tariffs to come.

After snapping tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from a number of allies, the United States has been engaged in an escalating duel with China with levies being announced on a growing range of goods.

Oil prices rose Tuesday with the global benchmark crude, Brent soaring above $74 per barrel as the United States revived sanctions against Iran, a major producer, tightening supply to the worldwide market. Official US fuel storage data is due later on Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected stocks to drop by 3.3 million barrels. Saudi Arabia was thought to pump about 10.8 mmbbl or 11 mmbbl per day, said the source.

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