OPEC chief: Cartel must stay together as USA sanctions Iran

21 September, 2018, 19:23 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Crude is averaging about $72 a barrel this year and the International Energy Agency warned last week that prices could rise above $80

"Mr. Trump's attempt to prevent Iran from appearing on the global crude oil markets has allowed Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, which would not favour low prices, to pursue hostage-taking policies in the market", Iranian OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Saturday.

Benchmark Brent crude already is nearing $80 a barrel and analysts believe it may go even higher as production remains low.

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery advanced 94 cents to settle at $69.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil futures rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday on signs that OPEC would not be prepared to raise output to address shrinking supplies from Iran, and as Saudi Arabia signaled an informal target near current levels.

"Iran is not only a founding member of OPEC, it's a very important member of this organization", OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo said.

Crude oil started the week on a positive note as latest reports revealed that Iranian crude oil exports continued to decline amid the US sanctions.

U.S. crude stocks increased by 1.2 million barrels according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), sharply reversing the market forecast of -2.7 million barrels, raising prospects for a widening premium in the Brent versus WTI with crude runs worsening in Europe and Asia.

Ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers meet this coming Sunday to discuss compliance with output policies. According to reports, Iran's crude exports are already falling as the USA prepares to curb Tehran's ability to sell oil and participate in global financial markets.

The OPEC Chief did not specify how crude producers would compensate for declining exports from Iran, with new USA sanctions due to hit the Islamic republic's oil industry on November the 4th.

But supporting crude futures were potential supply cuts from USA sanctions on Iran.

Bloomberg reported that while Saudi Arabia had no desire to push prices higher than US$80, it may no longer be possible to avoid it.

Official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration will be released on Wednesday. U.S. sanctions affecting Iran's petroleum sector are due to come into force from November 4.

Beijing on Tuesday quickly added US$60 billion of USA products to its import tariff list in retaliation for President Donald Trump's planned levies on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.


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