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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.
Reuters calculations and shipping data has shown nearly $500 million a month in Iranian oil product sales as US sanctions continue ripping the country’s crude exports. Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted saying product exports achieved their highest level in last month. While analysts expected some 400,000 bpd for July in crude exports, consultancy FGE projected Iran’s product exports at 400,000-500,000 barrels per day.
Oil prices dipped in the international market on Monday, post “constructive” emergency talks between Iran and other signatories of the multi-party nuclear agreement. Brent crude futures lowered by 0.4% to $63.23 a barrel. US WTI crude was traded 0.2% lower at $56.08 a barrel. An Iranian official yesterday said that an emergency meeting between parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal turned out to be constructive, however, some issues remain unresolved.
The market has become highly sceptical of the supply disruptions due to rising tensions with Iran. This fueled economic slowdown concerns which helped the oil prices climb up on Wednesday. Also, a significant unexpected drop in US stockpiles supported the market in extending gains. Brent went up by 0.3% and was traded at $64.03 a barrel. WTI rose by 0.4% and was traded at $57.00 a barrel.
Oil prices rose in the international market on Monday, over speculations of supply disruption due to British tanker seizure in the Strait of Hormuz. Benchmark Brent crude futures jumped by 1.4% to $63.32 a barrel. US WTI futures were priced 0.8% higher at $56.10. Both the futures recovered from the sharp downfall last week. Oil prices were also supported by the force majeure on Libya’s largest oilfield, El-Sharara.
Iran detained two British oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, worsening tensions with London and Washington. Naval forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained and sent the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero to Iranian shores for legal procedures. The tanker was seized on the claims of not following international maritime regulations while transiting the strait. The British Government has cautioned of a “considered and robust” response.
With tensions brewing in the Middle East after a U.S. Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone, oil prices jumped in the international market on Friday. Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 1.3%, to $62.74 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 futures climbed 1.1%, to $55.89 per barrel. Washington yesterday said that an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz threatening a U.S. Navy ship was “destroyed”.
As Iran seeks new possibilities of growth amidst debilitating U.S. sanctions, the country’s ambassador to India has said that Iran is ready to invest in the expansion of a South Indian refinery. Chennai Petroleum (CPCL) seeks to invest about $5.1 billion to expand Nagapattinam refinery to a 180,000-bpd plant. Naftiran Intertrade, the Swiss subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, own a 15.4% stake in CPCL.
Iran has made it very clear that nothing will stop the nation to export its oil. Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif told its British counterpart that "Iran will continue its oil exports under any conditions". He has also appealed to Britain for releasing the Grace 1 oil tanker. This tanker was seized last week by the British Royal Marines.