Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Oil rises as US renew sanctions against Iran

A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas A man pumps gas into his car at a gas station in Caracas Venezuela
Elsie Buchanan | 08 August, 2018, 21:00

Markets also anticipated an announcement from Washington later on Monday on renewed U.S. sanctions against major oil exporter Iran.

Prices in mid-morning trade in Asia Tuesday were holding ahead of the release of weekly US inventory data by the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

International Olympic Committee and other state firms like Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) enter into annual term import deals with national oil companies of mostly Middle East countries.

Shipments into the world's biggest importer of crude came in at 36.02 million tonnes last month, or 8.48 million barrels per day, rising from 8.18 million bpd a year earlier and just up on June's 8.36 million bpd, customs data showed.

Other than the four key importers, the European Union has said it will not enforce U.S. sanctions which are to be imposed on Iran's oil and banking sectors on November 4.

In Iran, America's first round of sanctions hit on 7 August and a second, tougher set targeting oil sales, will take effect on 5 November. That is fast changing as Iran seeks to maintain deliveries to Turkey amid USA sanctions.

Brent crude for October delivery increased by 1.03 percent and steeled at 75.55 dollars per barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $68.68 barrel.

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Anas Alhajji, an energy economist based in Dallas, Texas, told Xinhua that "Unlike the past, USA weekly crude oil inventories have become extremely sensitive to U.S.net imports, making short term oil prices more volatile".

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the sanctions were "the most biting sanctions ever imposed". Thus, it is hard for India to stop doing business with Tehran.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country opposes sanctions on Iran, but will abide by them to protect its own interests. "The reports that Saudi Arabia's production actually dropped in July continue to provide support for the market".

The buildup was mainly due to 9.6 million barrels of lower exports for the week ending July 27, compared with the previous weekly report levels.

Additionally, there are also reports that many US shale oil drillers posted disappointing quarterly results in recent weeks, hit by rising operating costs, hedging losses and a drop in crude prices away from 2018 highs reached between May and July.

Output was expected to rise 1.31 million bpd to 10.68 million bpd in 2018, lower than last month's forecast of growth of 1.44 million bpd to 10.79 million, the EIA said. China is the only one that has flatly refused to reduce its intake of Iranian crude although it did say it will not expand its Iranian imports.

Analysts surveyed Monday by S&P Global Platts were looking for United States crude stocks to have declined by 3.7 million barrels in the week ended August 3. Weekly data from the American Petroleum Institute for USA inventories is due later on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT, followed by the EIA's report on Wednesday morning.

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