Crude oil going nowhere, can API report help it?

06 September, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • OPEC August oil output tops 2018 high: Poll

But in the end, China could pull the rug out from under the feet of the market tightening camp: the oil ministers for Bahrain and Oman told CNBC on Monday that the nation's demand for oil could decline on the back of its trade dispute with the U.S.

The Brent crude oil - the worldwide benchmark for oil prices - was trading at $78.01 per barrel, however, closed trading at $79.38 per barrel.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi warned on Tuesday that Tehran would withdraw from the nuclear deal if the Europeans fail by November 4 to design a mechanism to safeguard Iran's main interests, including oil sales and banking payments, in the accord. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Labor Day.

Given that China and emerging markets more broadly are key demand growth areas for oil markets, analysts said crude prices had come under downward pressure.

On Monday the Anadarko Petroleum Corp announced that it had halted production and evacuated two facilities in the northern Gulf of Mexico in advance of Hurricane Gordon.

They added: "The impact of the sanctions will spark further civil unrest and public discontent as Iranians struggle to cope with deteriorating economic conditions, increasing unemployment and rapidly rising price levels".

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Tehran is offering nearly free shipping and extended credit period, arranging for tankers and insurance after Indian firms including Shipping Corp of India (SCI) were forced to halt voyages to Iran due to USA sanctions.

India will allow state refiners to import Iranian oil if Tehran arranges and insures tankers.

The latest move also comes as major Japanese banks prepare to halt transactions related to Iran, which will make it hard for distributors to process payments even if they continue buying Iranian oil.

SCI had a contract until August to import Iranian oil for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), two sources familiar with the matter said.

"Crude oil export losses from Iran due to USA sanctions, production decline in Venezuela and episodic outages in Libya are unlikely to be offset entirely by corresponding rises in OPEC+ production due to market share sensitivities", the bank said.

"With the anticipation of up to 1.5 million barrels per day affected by the USA sanctions on Iran, one would expect prices to move higher in the weeks ahead". The bank also said it expects Brent to average at $75 per barrel, a huge jump from its prior prediction of $55 per barrel. The first round began in early August, but in November, the most formidable sanction go into effect - those targeting Iran's oil exports and the banking sector.

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