Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Prepare for $90 oil after sanctions against Iran take effect

A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas Venezuela
Rhonda Young | 08 August, 2018, 12:51

The U.S. sanctions against Iran, which shipped out nearly three million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, officially came into effect at 12.01 a.m. U.S. Eastern time (04.01 GMT) on Tuesday.

Oil pumps are seen at sunset outside Vaudoy-en-Brie, near Paris, France April 23, 2018.

European officials have said their governments are considering opening accounts for Iran at their national banks, which could receive oil payments.

Sanctions on Iran and additional support from signs of declining oil inventories in the United States pushed the price of oil higher early Tuesday.

The sanctions target Iran's us dollar purchases, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.

Iran's oil industry is expected to be hit in the next round of economic penalties against the country, set to take effect in November.

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"It certainly is a reminder to everyone that the U.S.is serious about sanctions, and it's doubtful they will grant waivers", said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

At 0244 GMT, September WTI crude oil futures are trading $68.81, up $0.32 or +0.47% and October Brent crude oil is at $73.58, up $0.37 or +0.51%.

West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.8 percent to $69.56 per barrel.

Other than the four key importers, the European Union has said it will not enforce USA sanctions which are to be imposed on Iran's oil and banking sectors on November 4.

Crude futures briefly rose in post settlement trade, with WTI at $69.07 a barrel, on data from the American Petroleum Institute that showed USA crude inventories fell 6 million barrels last week.

It comes a day after an expert said that prices could rise to more than $90 a barrel following the fresh USA sanctions against Iran, which is the world's fifth-largest oil producer. All countries must stop importing Iranian oil by then, the State Department said in June, or face sanctions.

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Donald Trump described the new sanctions as "biting" and warned other countries not to do business with Iran in a post on Twitter today.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country opposes sanctions on Iran, but will abide by them to protect its own interests.

"With global demand remaining healthy and the global heatwave increasing oil demand, I think prices will remain well-supported in the near term", Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said. "There is no wish from Saudi Arabia to push prices down to $50".

Meanwhile, U.S. crude production, which has climbed dramatically fueled largely by increased output from shale formations, may now rise more slowly as prices drop, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's monthly report.

"Oil sanctions are next (in November), and in our view, it would be a big mistake to expect waivers in the weeks ahead based on Trump's track record on Iran", he said.

"Past instances of El Niño have resulted in sharp drops in USA residential and commercial heating oil demand and prices", it said.

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