Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Oil eases, but Iran sanctions keep Brent above $80 a barrel

On Tuesday, Brent oil hit $82 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

In a Tuesday speech at the U.N., Trump reiterated calls on OPEC to pump more oil, accused Iran of sowing chaos and promised further sanctions on the country.

He said: "OPEC and OPEC nations are as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don't like it, nobody should like it".

However, oil prices rising is nothing new in the face of the global market.

The IIF said in an updated note on Iran's economy that oil exports are falling even although Iran is selling key grades at a deep discount and using its own tankers to ship products to China and India at no extra cost.

It could cause Washington to take extraordinary steps, including the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to cool down the crude oil and other fuel prices ahead of the USA mid-term elections.

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The IIF said Iranian shippers were also providing generous payment terms and, in some cases, accepting euros and Chinese yuan instead of USA dollars.

Daniel Jaeggi, the president of the commodity merchant Mercuria Energy Trading, said that because of the USA sanctions against Iran, millions of barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil could be taken out of the market by the end of the fourth quarter this year, making oil prices spike up to $100 a barrel.

The so-called "Opec+" group, which includes Russia, Oman and Kazakhstan, met over the weekend to discuss a possible increase in crude output, but the group was in no rush to do so. He said the cartel is focused on "more important" aspects of the oil market, like assuring the world is adequately supplied with crude. Washington wants to reduce Iran's oil exports effectively to zero with renewed sanctions in November and has been encouraging its allies to cut their oil imports from Iran.

Zanganeh said if Trump wanted prices to ease then he had to "stop his unwarranted interference... in the Middle East and not prevent Iran's production and exports".

U.S. crude inventories rose 1.9 million barrels in the week to September 21, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

"We are not going to put up with it, these frightful prices, much longer". "Trump blames OPEC for what he has created and caused: the rise of the price of oil and disturbance in the market", Zanganeh said. Last week, gasoline stockpiles added 1.5 million barrels while distillate inventories went down by 2.2 million barrels.

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