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The China-brokered Saudi-Iran rapprochement is a major diplomatic breakthrough after years of mutual animosity, suspected attacks and espionage between the two countries. It represents Beijing’s first foray into Middle East mediation, an area that for the past few decades was largely occupied by Washington.
Deir Ezzor province: SOHR activists have reported hearing explosions in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, after three rockets hit an area near Al-Jafrh oil field in the SDF-held town of Jadid Ekaydat. According to sources, the rockets were fired from positions of regime forces and Iranian-backed militias in Jabal Al-Ommal in Deir Ezzor city. However, no casualties have been reported. Observatory sources reported earlier today that ISIS cells attacked posts of “Al-Qatarji” militia and National Defense Forces in the vicinity of Al-Kharata oil field in south-west Deir Ezzor desert on Sunday evening. According to Syrian Observatory sources, ISIS attack left 12 members of “Al-Qatarji militias and NDF wounded. “Al-Qatarji” and NDF members had withdrawn after regime forces’ support arrived and warplanes intervened.
Despite all the external challenges like the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. sanctions, the Iranian oil and gas sector has been developing at a fast pace and the country is passing new milestones in this industry every day. Various sectors of Iran’s oil and gas industry including exploration, production, processing, and distribution are all among the world’s top charts and the country is taking new steps to develop the industry even further. Among different sectors of this industry, refining is a major one being seriously paid attention for development. In a visit to Tehran Refinery on Friday, Iran’s new Oil Minister Javad Oji said that the country’s oil refining capacity will be increased by 1.5 folds by the end of the current government’s incumbency (in four years).
Iran said it will soon export oil from a new port that allows it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz, as nuclear talks between Tehran and other world powers show signs of progress. The pipeline will be officially opened by President Hassan Rouhani in the near future, Karbasian said, without giving a timeframe or stating how much oil will initially be exported.
Iran’s Petropars Ltd. will be awarded a $1.78 billion contract by the National Iranian Oil Co. to develop the giant Farzad-B gas field that was previously intended to be tapped by a group of Indian companies. Petropars will produce 28 million cubic meters of gas a day from the offshore deposit within five years, according to the agreement, the Iranian oil ministry’s official Shana news service reported, with the contract to be signed on Monday. An Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh Ltd. was engaged in talks with Iran to develop the field but disagreements over investment volume and gas prices delayed progress and negotiations stalled completely after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.
Iran is reaching out to its old customers in Asia to gauge interest in its crude as the Persian Gulf oil producer ramps up diplomacy in a bid to get US sanctions lifted. Iran’s crude shipments dwindled to a trickle after sanctions by the former US administration in 2018 and the end of waivers for some countries in 2019, although a number of Chinese refiners continued to take some oil.
Last year in mid-2019, India totally stopped its purchase from Iran after Trump has imposed tough sanctions on it. But with Biden's win, India might look for Iranian supply again with the underlined condition of a longer wait. As a clear statement came from Shin Kim of S&P Global Platts, "We do not expect a meaningful return of Iranian oil before 2022 under either Trump or Biden.”
Venezuela is seeking help from Iran to start an ageing refinery. The increase in pressure from Trump administration has left the South American country with no choice. In the preparation to prevent gasoline shortage, Maduro appreciated Iran on sending key chemical components used for producing gasoline. The package was sent through the flight on Thursday and according to the sources 14 more flights are expected in the coming day.
The Trump Administration, on Thursday, sanctioned petrochemical and petroleum companies based in Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai for allegedly aiding Iran's NIOC to trade hundreds of millions of dollars in crude oil, petrochemical and refined products. The sanctions were imposed on Hong Kong's Triliance Petrochemical, Sage Energy, Shanghai-based Peakview, and Dubai-based Beneathco DMCC. In a related move, the US also sanctioned China's Shandong Qiwangda Petrochemical Co., and Hong Kong's Jiaxiang Industry Hong Kong Limited.
Oil prices ramped up in the international market on Wednesday, buoyed up by Iranian attacks on American forces in Iraq. Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 2.3%, to $69.83 a barrel. US WTI CLc1 crude was priced 2% higher, at $63.95 a barrel. Iran let loose a dozen missiles on U.S.-led forces stationed in Iraq early on Wednesday.
India's Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has shown concerns over increasing tensions amidst the oil-producing countries. "In today's times when there is a tension in the oil-producing countries then there is a direct impact on the prices of oil in the markets", said Pradhan. India is also planning to look for other oil import countries apart from the gulf nations.
Oil prices ramped up in the international market on Monday, climbing on the back of escalating tensions in the Middle East and as US threats to impose sanctions on Iraq. Brent crude futures LCOc1 soared 2.4%, to a high of $70.27 a barrel. US WTI CLc1 crude rose 2.1%, to $64.39 a barrel. President Trump yesterday threatened to enforce sanctions on Iraq if the country forced U.S. troops to withdraw.
While the global stock market had a mixed situation, oil prices rose more than 3% yesterday, after the US killed Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. The death of Soleimani has caused an increase in the geopolitical rise. This can eventually lead the US and Iran to lock horns. Sources predict Iran launching a targeted attack on US ships which could disrupt seaborne crude oil flows and thereby increase the oil prices.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince has warned of an unimaginable spike in oil prices lest the world comes together to deter Iran, though he added that a political solution is preferred. Speaking in an interview, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed with a statement made by the U.S. Secretary, Mike Pompeo who referred to Sept 14 attacks as an act of war by Iran.
A day after Iranian President Rouhani said about not talking to the US unless sanctions were lifted, India’s Modi met him to discuss the progress of Chabahar port. The two country heads met along the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session, currently underway in New York. India halted all orders for Iranian oil after May 2, after U.S. sanctions kicked in last November.
Tension in the Middle East escalated the journey of oil prices uphill on Friday. This is the result of a military operation by Saudi in Hodeidah. Brent increased by 7.7% this week while WTI went up and was traded at $58.79 a barrel. Further, US and Saudi Arabia continue slamming Iran for the attack but Tehran denies any involvement.
Oil prices improved after Saudi Arabia assured restoration of full production by September end. Brent increased and was traded at $63.68 a barrel. WTI went up to $58.23 a barrel. Meanwhile, oil analytics has informed about the loss of 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output by Saudi. After Saudi pointed fingers at Iran for the attack, Washington has ordered U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase sanctions” on Tehran.
The attack on Saudi Arabia's crude facilities has brought down the global oil supply down to more than 5%. The oil prices surged on Monday to four-month highs. WTI climbed by 11% to $61.10 a barrel. Brent crude went up by 13%, to $68.06 a barrel. This attack has made the investors worry more about the geopolitical tension in the region and deteriorating relations of Iran and the USA.