Friday, 16 November, 2018

Oil Slides As Iran Sanctions Fail, US Supplies Build

A Chinese vessel approaching beleaguered Iranian tanker Sanchi to help extinguish a fire that started after it collided with a Chinese vessel off China's shores India gets US waiver for development of strategic Chabahar Port in Iran
Ellis Copeland | 09 November, 2018, 14:21

Brent crude, the global benchmark, settled down 6 cents to $72.07 a barrel, bouncing off its post-EIA session low on support from earlier reports that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are discussing whether to cut crude output next year.

Russian Federation and Germany have slammed the United States' move to reinstate sanctions against Iran's vital oil exports, shipping and banking, saying Moscow and Berlin would continue trade with Tehran.

However, the White House has granted waivers to eight countries to keep importing Iranian oil at reduced rates, reversing the previous strategy of targeting zero exports.

The EU is preparing a special mechanism to enable payments for Iranian oil and other exports without U.S. dollars, possibly through a barter system.

WTI Crude prices could drop into the $40s, with the US oil benchmark in a "ferocious" bear market, analyst and CNBC host Jim Cramer said on Thursday.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a buildup of 7.83 million barrels in the US crude oil inventories for the week ending November 2.

The Modi government has caved in, in the face of threats of United States sanctions regarding oil imports from Iran.

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This week, reports emerged that South Korea received a waiver allowing it to import around 4 million barrels a month, equal to about 130,000 bpd, of Iranian crude and condensate.

Iran's oil exports could halve by the middle of next year from their October level as the U.S. tightens the noose on Tehran through sanctions that will now focus on restricting crude revenue rather than imports by energy-hungry countries, analysts said.

The sanctions waivers have further eased concerns the oil market will swing into a deficit of crude supplies. In turn, the United States would give a waiver to India to continue the import of Iranian oil in progressively lesser quantities for six months.

One Indian source close to the country's refining sector said India would likely be allowed to import around 300,000 bpd of Iranian crude during the exemption period compared with normal volumes of around 450,000 to 550,000 bpd. EIA now sees the nation's output averaging 12.1 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) next year, up from last month's forecast of 11.5 Mmbpd. Big power disunity and European Union moves to circumvent Trump's sanctions regime have given Tehran a psychological boost - but not dissuaded foreign businesses ranging from oil majors to trading houses and shipping concerns from pulling out of Iran for fear of incurring new United States penalties.

"Any serious discussion will be toward the December meeting", this source said. The government's official supply report is due at 1530 GMT.

Taiwan is only an occasional importer of Iranian oil, and no details regarding its waivers have been disclosed.

Distillate inventories were down this week by 3.64 million barrels, compared to a smaller expected draw of 2.775 million bpd.

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