Oil prices steady as OPEC supplies weigh but Iran sanctions loom

Thursday, 06 Sep, 2018

"It remains unclear whether OPEC will be able to absorb a potentially massive fall in Iranian oil exports due to the US sanctions", Commerzbank AG said in a note on Monday.

Meanwhile, trade disputes between the U.

"We're heading into these Iran sanctions, which is going to remove supply", said Ashley Petersen, lead oil analyst at Stratas Advisors in NY.

Innes, however, feels that it is too early to predict whether the economic slowdown due to these trade wars was going to impact the demand for oil. Given the current upside momentum, this price level could easily be achieved later today especially if additional U.S. Gulf oil operations are shutdown once the hurricane's path and strength are determined.

Apart from refiners, shipowners whose vessels help ferry the Middle East nation's supply, insurers who cover those cargoes as well as banks that help process payments for the crude are at risk from the sanctions, further complicating any trade with Iran.

The sharp increase was linked to mounting concerns that falling Iranian output could tighten markets once US sanctions bite from November.

Iran has repeatedly said it will resume high-level uranium enrichment if the 2015 agreement - which stringently limits its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief - falls apart.

People often focus on the supply side. but what happens if China reduces its consumption?

"And I think, and many people agree with me, that the demand will be impacted - so that's not good for us".

"This will shift the front end Brent crude oil price into the higher $70s range with a touch of $80s". "If there is a serious trade disagreement between the US and China, the Chinese consumption of energy will be impacted negatively, from our point of view and the ability to produce and export will be impacted", he said at the World Heavy Oil Congress. The country's oil production already was down by 150,000 barrels per day, due to importers of that oil moving away from taking Iranian shipments.

Iranian President Rouhani publicly blamed President Trump for the country's financial crisis last week; saying "anti-Iranian agents in the White House" were directly responsible for the currency's stunning low.

Japan's major oil distributors, taking heed of USA demands, are expected to suspend crude imports from Iran in October and switch to other producers in the Middle East, sources with knowledge of the plans say. Iranian oil exports fell 14 percent in August, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

One industry source said the kingdom's crude production plans were made according to its customers' needs and that oil demand has not materialized as forecast.