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Oil prices lowered in the international market on Monday over the concerns of an economic slowdown. The market was, however, held tight by OPEC-led supply cuts and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. Brent crude oil futures dipped 0.2%, to $67.03 per barrel. US WTI crude futures dropped 0.3%, to $58.32 per barrel.
A minor deficit in global supply resulting from production cuts by OPEC and US sanctions kept oil prices firm in the international market on Friday. Brent crude oil futures remained in close vicinity with year highs, at $67.15 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were traded at $58.55 per barrel.
Brent crude oil prices touched new year-highs today, buoyed up by OPEC-led supply cut and current US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Brent crude swelled up to $67.80 a barrel, before settling to $67.75 per barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures increased 0.2%, to $58.38 per barrel. Crude oil prices were also supported by a weekly report from EIA which showed a surprising plunge in US crude production and inventories.
In an interview last week, the managing director of Chennai Petroleum Corp. informed that Iran will invest about Rs.1,500 crore in the expansion of CPCL’s Nagapattinam refinery. The expansion project will boost the facility’s capacity to 9 million tpa. The proposed investment will be Naftiran Intertrade Co.’s stake of the Rs 27,500 crore expansion plans. The Persian Gulf country has suffered severe hits on its oil exports due to US sanctions.
According to the sources, India and Iran have agreed on a payment plan to overcome US sanctions. India will deposit the amount for crude imports from Iran into its escrow accounts of 5 banks which are held with state-run UCO Bank Ltd. The part of this payment will be used by Iran for purchasing essential goods from India, considering that all the spending will be in Indian currency.
US has asked Iraq to reduce its dependency on Iran. In a meeting with top Iraqi officials in Baghdad, Rick Perry, the US Energy Secretary has urged Iraq to replace Iran with America and open the energy sector for American investment. Presently, Iraq is in a delicate situation because even after the renewed US sanctions, the nation is still reliant on Iranian gas for its electricity production.
Oil Minister of Iran has informed that CNPC of China has officially replaced energy giant Total in the multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project of Iran. In August, when Total did not receive a waiver from US sanctions against Iran, the company informed the Iranian authorities about its plan to withdraw from the project. Total had 50.1% stakes in the project and now CNPC already holds 30% stakes in the field.
A new wave of US sanctions hit Iran’s core parts of the economy yesterday. The US is said to have imposed its "toughest ever" sanctions against the Persian country. The US administration re-imposed sanctions this year after President Trump pulled out of the accord signed in 2015. The Nov 4 wave will target more than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft.
US has almost agreed to grant waiver to India owing to the decision India made to cut oil imports from Iran. A source informed “India and the US have broadly agreed on waiver. India will cut import by about 35% from last year (2017-18), which is a significant cut”. Iran will face re-imposition of sanctions from November 4 after which no one can do business with Tehran without US’ consent.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction yesterday informed through a regulatory filing about dropping the $521 million deal to construct a petrochemicals complex in Iran. The South Korean firm cited US sanctions on Iran as the reason. It said that the Iranian customer’s ability to fund the project had been hit by the outlook of sanctions against the Persian country.
With the signs of increase in global supply regardless of the approaching dates of US sanctions on Iran’s crude exports, oil prices slipped further on Tuesday. The current fragile condition of global stock markets also weighed down the crude prices. Brent fell down by 0.4% and was traded at $77 a barrel while WTI was traded at $67.08 a barrel.
Iranian oil ministry’s website, SHANA reported that the country began the sale of crude oil to private firms for export. The move is being seen as part of a strategy to counter US sanctions, which is scheduled to come into effect on Nov 4th. 280,000 barrels out of 1 million barrels offered on the international exchange were sold at $74.85 a barrel.
On Tuesday, oil prices slipped on the grounds of Saudi Arabia’s promise of playing a “responsible role” in the crude market. But, amidst the air of US sanctions against Iran, the market seemed nervous. Brent crude went down by 0.4% and was trade at $79.52 a barrel, while WTI futures dropped down by 0.3% and was traded at $69.16 a barrel.
Oil prices notched up today due to expectations of tight market ahead of the looming US sanctions. Brent crude oil futures were priced at $79.88 per barrel. US WTI crude futures rose to $69.31 per barrel. The looming US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports remained the major driver of oil prices in the market. Also, the new Permian WTI crude futures deliverable in Houston will begin trading on Monday.
The joint CFO of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) informed that the company has stopped the crude imports from Iran ahead of US sanctions against the nation’s oil sector. RIL has started increasing its purchase from other suppliers of US and Middle East in order to reduce Venezuelan oil consumption and make up for the loss of Iranian crude.
Signs of fall in Iranian oil exports ahead of the November sanctions sent oil prices higher today in the international market. Brent crude rose by 0.33%, to $81.05/barrel. WTI crude climbed to $71.90 a barrel. According to data from Refinitiv Eikon, Iran experienced a drop in the oil exports, from 1.6 million bpd to 1.33 million bpd. Fresh wave of US sanctions on Iran will kick in on November 4th.
The Russian energy ministry informed that Energy Minister of Russia, Alexander Novak had a discussion on the oil output cap with Bijan Zanganeh, Energy Minister of Iran. This discussion was held during a meeting in Moscow on Monday. Not giving much details, the Russian Ministry said that both the nations talked about the chances of further oil output regulations.
A top US envoy on Iran is en route to India this week to hold talks, ahead of the next wave of US sanctions scheduled on November 4. US administration is persuading oil importing countries to bring down their import of Iranian oil to zero. Hook will also visit Europe to further discuss US foreign policy toward Iran.