Oil prices steadied below 3-1/2 year highs on Monday as resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran, while rising USA drilling pointed to higher North American production.
Much of the Iran's oil exports head to Asia now, with over than 1.5 million barrels per day sent to the likes of China, Japan, South Korea, and India. "Plus we see a high likelihood of OPEC working with Russian Federation in 2019 to set a floor on oil prices".
OPEC is to focus on oil inventory, rather than price.
Essentially, there is the Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast - OPEC Says Global Supply Glut Virtually Eliminatedthreat of increased US production.
After the plans for the United States to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal became known, oil prices surged over the uncertainty of what would happen to Iran's oil industry if the USA reimposed sanctions, limiting Iran's production. Investors are watching whether OPEC and its allies such as Russian Federation intend to end output cuts and increase production if renewed American measures restrict the Persian Gulf state's exports.
Michael Wittner, analyst at Societe Generale, forecasts US sanctions will remove 400,000-500,000 bpd of Iranian crude from the global oil market.
But so much is unknown about how the Trump administration will review those requests, especially at a time of rising oil prices going into the peak summer driving season in the US.
The report is the last one before the oil ministers' meeting in Vienna to discuss the oil production ceiling two weeks later.
As a supply loss in collapsing Venezuela and a potential decline in Iranian oil exports push oil prices up, the pace of demand growth in China could drive global demand growth higher.
- Strong domestic gasoline demand has caused reduced supply levels.
However, Iran's overall exports of oil and condensate are no lower than the average of 6 million barrels per day (m/bpd), with 60 percent of exports designated for Asia and another 40 to Europe, said Pirooz Mousavi, who heads the National Iranian Oil Terminals Company (NIOTC), as cited by PressTV news outlet.
The tightening market has all but eliminated a global supply overhang which depressed crude prices between late 2014 and early 2017. On the supply side are expectations that as prices continue to rise so will production, including USA oil and shale production. "Saudi Arabia appears to be focusing more on pushing up crude higher rather than restoring the balance in oil's supply and demand, and that is underpinning prices".
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The top Iranian diplomat said he and Lavrov discussed the JCPOA and a broad range of bilateral, regional and worldwide issues. Beijing has expressed regret over Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear and says it remains committed to the pact.
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