Monday, 23 July, 2018

We will keep Gulf open despite Iran threat

Oil prices climb on tightening US market Trump: Gas prices are up and OPEC ‘doing little to help’
Jodi Jackson | 06 July, 2018, 03:28

A flame from a Saudi Aramco oil installation known as "Pump 3" is seen in the desert near the oil-rich area of Khouris, 160 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Paradoxically, U.S. President Donald Trump, with one eye on the U.S. driving season ahead of the U.S. 4 of July holiday, has been grumbling about high oil prices and on Jun.30 tweeted that he had directly asked Saudis to open the taps to make up for the shortfall.

Just after President Trump's announcement, oil prices jumped, and analysts started to guesstimate how much Iranian oil barrels could be taken off the market by the end of this year. This must be a two way street.

The leader of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member, has assured Trump that the kingdom can raise oil production if needed and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a USA announcement that it plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

Crude oil prices in recent days have hit their highest levels since late 2014. Iran, however, said it would be tough to erase its oil completely from the market by November, when USA sanctions snap back into place.

OPEC pledged to relax compliance with an agreement that helped balance an oversupplied market, but that might not be enough to address a looming deficit of around 2 million barrels per day.

"We have informed our oil customers that we will only buy their commodities if they buy our crude", Gharekhani said. The global community had expected sanctions waivers for some countries, a tactic used in the Obama era to avoid supply shocks.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili speaks to journalists at a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 7, 2005.

Production at Syncrude Canada's 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil sands facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, was hit by a power outage last month and is likely to remain offline through July, helping drain USA inventories. "Please stop this method". For many households, the gains from cuts passed past year have been offset by the rise in oil prices since 2016. The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was $73.22 a barrel, down 1.24 percent.

Brent crude futures were at $78.12 a barrel at 1050 GMT, down 12 cents. Analysts and traders were predicting a draw of 1 million barrels.

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