Saturday, 21 July, 2018


Seoul stops Iran oil imports as it seeks exemptions

Crude Oil Crude Oil
Conrad Doyle | 10 July, 2018, 01:19

Rather than increase, the number of Iranians naturalized in the US declined after the deal was signed, from 10,344 in 2015 to 9,507 in 2016, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The tightness at Cushing and the potential increase in Gulf exports "both have implications for how quickly the prompt overhang in the market can clear, and thus provide some direction for prices", Chauhan said.

But by 5.28am GMT, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 13c or 0.2% from their last settlement at $$73.07 a barrel.

USA crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3-million-barrel build in crude inventories.

This news was generally thought of as bearish because traders had been pricing-in a 4.4 million barrel decline.

Output cuts by OPEC and allies since January 2017 (officially 1.8 million barrels per day) have reduced a crude glut. Traders were looking for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels for gasoline, and 250,000 barrels for distillate stocks.

The trade war has yet to have a direct impact on oil markets, but China has indicated it could place tariffs on USA crude imports.

Refiners in China were the top buyers of American crude oil in May, and have been regular importers since the USA revived domestic output and exports in recent years.

A Chinese import tariff would make US oil uncompetitive in China, forcing its refiners to seek alternative supplies in a tight market.

China has indicated that it could place a tariff of 25% on USA oil.

USA energy companies last week increased the number of rigs drilling for oil by five to 863, up 100 year-on-year, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report late on Friday. "We will switch to either Middle East or West African supplies", he said.

"At the same time, Venezuela... will lose another 400,000 bpd by year-end with production going to below 1 million bpd", FGE said, adding that another 300,000 bpd of Libyan capacity was disrupted.

"Mr. Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the market", said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh stated in an interview.

John Driscoll, director of consultancy JTD Energy, suggested that China may even replace American oil with crude from Iran: "They [Chinese importers] are not going to be intimidated or swayed by USA sanctions".

South Korea is reported to have stopped importing Iran's oil and condensate in what appears to be a temporary halt until the country obtains an exemption from U.S. curbs on buying Iranian oil.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have agreed to increase output, but most of their 1 million bpd increase was expected to cover the short fall from Iran.

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