Friday, 17 August, 2018

Donald Trump Withdraws From Iran Nuclear Deal, Imposes Sanctions: Impact

Iran vows to enrich uranium if US opts out of nuke deal Donald Trump Withdraws From Iran Nuclear Deal, Imposes Sanctions: Impact
Russell Knight | 12 May, 2018, 23:35

The key will be whether Iran's crude oil exports are significantly restricted - and whether Saudi Arabia or another nation fills the gap.

In other news, USA crude inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels in the week to May 4, to 433.76 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), slightly above the 420 million barrels five-year average level. Saudi Arabia will "mitigate the effects of any supply shortages", it said. Even with the lifting of sanctions in 2015, Iran's economy remained shaky because of low oil prices, which created public unrest and pressure on its hard-line theocratic government.

Trump telegraphed the move, and oil prices shot up in recent weeks as traders anticipated it.

Brent crude futures rose 27 cents to $77.48 a barrel, having gained 3.5 percent so far this week, Reuters reported. Heightened geopolitical fears in the Middle East often raise prices.

With tensions high in the region there are other scenarios in which Iranian oil could disappear from the market.

Iran produced about 3.8 million barrels of oil per day in April, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey. Estimates vary from "little impact" anticipated by Barclays Plc, to a potential loss of more than 50 percent of the country's 2.7 million barrels of daily shipments predicted by consultant FGE.

"The Iranian sanctions may change the OPEC June meeting completely", said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects Ltd.in London.

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Analysts´ estimates of the possible reduction in Iranian crude supplies as a result of any new USA sanctions range from as little as 200,000 bpd to as much as 1 million bpd, with most impact from 2019 as sanctions take time to be imposed. The Treasury Department said on Tuesday that sanctions targeting Iran's oil trade and energy industry will come with a six-month lag. Sales to Europe are seen by analysts as the more likely to be reduced by the sanctions.

While Bank of America has become the first Wall Street bank to suggest a return to $100 a barrel, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has predicted that Brent futures could reach $82.50 a barrel by summer, but expects oil to subside again in 2019.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies basked on Wednesday in what they saw as a political victory over Iran, their rival for regional influence, after Washington withdrew from the global nuclear accord with Tehran. That's the longest rising streak in a month.

That's still a sizable amount of oil, especially considering the strong demand around the world.

In October 2017, trump said about the readiness of the United States at any time to withdraw from the agreement, accusing Tehran of supporting terrorists. For one, China can switch to other suppliers to replace Iran quite easily, particularly Russian Federation. The Kremlin will have to weigh its alliance with Iran in the Syrian conflict against the new bond forged with Saudi Arabia and the temptation of boosting production of Urals crude that could replace Iranian barrels in Europe.

This source had also said the impact of USA sanctions on Iranian supplies needed to be assessed first and Saudi Arabia did not expect any physical impact on the market until the third or fourth quarters. New pipelines are in the works, but won't be ready until later next year.

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