Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Opec chief says cartel must stick together amid sanctions on Iran

Iran OPEC chief: 'Saudi and Russia are taking oil market hostage' Oil dips as China-US trade tensions deepen
Jodi Jackson | 22 September, 2018, 14:25

Lipow Oil Associates President Andy Lipow on how Hurricane Florence has impacted the US oil industry.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $69.81 a barrel after climbing 1.4 percent in the previous session.

Brent oil traded near the highest level in a week after Saudi Arabia was said to be content with the global benchmark crude breaking above $80 a barrel.

Unilateral U.S. sanctions on oil sales by Iran, OPEC's third-biggest supplier, take effect on November 4.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers Russian Federation started withholding oil supplies in 2017 to end a global glut and prop up prices.

"Mr. Trump's attempt to prevent Iran from appearing on the global crude oil markets has allowed Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, which would not favor low prices, to pursue hostage-taking policies in the market", Iranian OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Saturday.

Saudi officials were careful to avoid pinpointing a price target in their conversations, saying that while the kingdom has no desire to push prices higher than $80 a barrel, it may no longer be possible to avoid it.

Meanwhile, American Petroleum Institute data showed that crude stockpiles increased last week, while those in the storage hub at Cushing in Oklahoma fell.

However, potential supply cuts caused by United States sanctions on Iran, the third-largest producer among the members of oil cartel Opec, are providing some support for oil prices.

OPEC members received approximately US$567 billion in net oil export revenues in 2017, up 29% from revenues in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last week in Moscow that he did not foresee any price spikes once sanctions came into effect, and was positive about Saudi output.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday morning in Asia as the USA vowed to impose 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Monday, which rattled the markets.

Futures in NY climbed 1.4 per cent on Tuesday.

China, one of the world's largest oil consumers, on Tuesday added $60 billion of USA products to its import tariff list.

Oil markets dropped on Tuesday as the latest escalation in the Sino-US trade war clouded the outlook for demand, although concerns over tightening supply offered prices some support.

The potential for a full-blown trade war between the US and China could also undercut demand by reducing economic growth globally.

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