Crude oil going nowhere, can API report help it?

Hassan Rouhani speaks in Vienna Austria

Hassan Rouhani insisted Iran would'overcome Washington's sanctions

The export business of crude oil and condensate of Iran has experienced a record low of 70M barrels in August, which is its lowest since last year's April, and very well before the second round of the United States economic sanction, which is scheduled for November 4.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell by 4 cents, to $77.23 a barrel.

Brent crude oil was up 39 cents or half a percent at $78.03 a barrel while US crude futures were up 0.13 percent at $69.86 a barrel.

"We do not expect oil demand to be materially impacted in the next 6-9 months by economic uncertainty linked to U.S./China trade tensions and recent concerns over emerging markets", he added.

"Exports from OPEC's third-biggest producer are falling faster than expected and worse is to come ahead of a looming second wave of USA sanctions", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Iran has in the past repeatedly threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz - which is used by its Gulf rivals including Saudi Arabia - when faced with sanctions on its oil exports and possible military action by the US.

A set of USA sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry is due to take effect in November. US crude CLc1 was 30 cents higher at $70.10.

The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17 percent of U.S. crude oil production and 5 percent of natural gas output daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Some of the European refiners have been cutting purchases of Iranian crude, thus leading to decline in exports.

Pressure is growing on buyers of the country's crude after U.S. President Donald Trump announced in May that sanctions would be fully reimposed from November 4.

"If the market is deprived of around one million barrel per day supply from Iran, it could tighten the supply in the oil market", said Jain.

India, Iran's top oil client after China, will finalise its strategy on crude purchases from Tehran after a meeting with top U.S. officials this week, a senior government official told Reuters last week.

Prices also pulled back from earlier highs after Cushing, Oklahoma, crude inventories rose almost 754,000 barrels from 24 August to Friday, traders said, citing a report from market intelligence firm Genscape.

USA investment bank Jefferies said "the Brent forward curve has inverted to backwardation, signalling a tightening market that already feels the effects of declining Iranian exports".

RCMA's Maher said he expected Brent prices to average $80 per barrel in 2019.

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