Iran sells oil on exchange in bid to counter sanctions: AFP report

02 November, 2018, 19:12 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Tehran's oil refinery supervisor Jafar Jaleh Rafati works at a unit of the refinery south of the capital Tehran Iran Monday Dec. 22 2014

Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export on Sunday, part of a strategy to counter USA sanctions which come into effect on November 4 and aim to stop the country's key crude exports, the oil ministry's news website SHANA reported.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Tuesday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners are in "produce as much as you can" mode.

Oil capped its worst month in more than two years as concerns mount that the global economy will slow down.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading down 46 cents, or 0.6%, at $77.16 a barrel at 0745 GMT.

Last week, CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ali Kardor had said the country would soon start offering oil for exports via its national stock exchange.

Current political situation in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are also weighing on crude oil.

"The hedge funds really abandoned the long side of the market and there's some short-selling going on this perception that perhaps the economy is slowing", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Trump said he would like to make a deal now but that China was not ready.

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EIA forecast that US crude oil production to increase by 1 million barrels per day in 2019.

"If Turkey gets more oil from Iraq, it will be more hard for Ankara to argue it needs a USA waiver to continue buying Iranian oil", the source told Reuters.

Oil prices fell Monday as Russian Federation said its crude production will run unabated, and concern over the global economy's direction put crude on track for its biggest monthly drop in more than two years.

In case a planned meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping yields no progress on the sidelines of a Group 20 summit in Buenos Aires next month, US officials are preparing a new list which would apply to the Chinese products that aren't already covered by previous rounds of tariffs.

"Mounting perception of a weakening in global oil demand due to increasing tariff issues between the USA and China, while extremely hard to measure, will be maintaining some negative influence in keeping would-be buyers sidelined", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

Around 300,000 bpd of crude oil previously pumped and exported in the Kirkuk province to the Turkish port of Ceyhan have been shut in since the Iraqi federal government moved in October past year to take control over the oil fields in Kirkuk from Kurdish forces.

Oil was also being weighed down by signs of rising supply from top producers. USA crude was on course to fall about 8.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the market will focus on the news of any meeting between officials from China and the United States aiming at seeking solution to the ongoing trade tensions.

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