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Oil steady on Iran sanction worries, but surging United States supplies cap market

03 May 2018

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $67.82 per barrel.

"When we first looked at these [OPEC] cuts, back in 2016 and into 2017, the cartel basically maintained their cuts for the year".

"That's the biggest factor right now that's driving the market".

At Multi Commodity Exchange, crude oil for delivery in May spurted by Rs 27, or 0.60 per cent to Rs 4,514 per barrel, in a business turnover of 1,977 lots. He was quoted saying, "We'll see what happens".

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Higher prices may tempt some OPEC members to exceed their quotas over the next few months, the UK-based consulting company Capital Economics said in its analysis obtained by Trend. "They're trying to maintain a higher [oil] price to get ready [for the] Saudi Aramco IPO sometime here in 2018".

More U.S. oil will likely flow.

However, the group also amended its estimate of non-OPEC supply growth in 2018, raising it by another 80,000 bpd, to 1.71m bpd. "Reimposing U.S. sanctions is not a foregone conclusion just yet". However, a growing number of ports are retooling infrastructure that was originally equipped to handle imports in order for oil to flow in the other direction.

Russian Federation is leading the non-OPEC group of oil producers part of the pact with OPEC to cut production in order to draw down inventories and boost oil prices.

"But if the U.S.is not part of the deal, then there really is no deal", Yawger said. The US has questioned Iran's sincerity in implementing the nuclear curbs and US President Donald Trump has threatened to re-impose sanctions if adjustments are not made to the agreement.

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The Iranian nuclear deal was brokered in 2015 with Tehran with five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States - along with Germany to put an end to the uncertainties over the nuclear programme of Iran. Total motor gasoline supplied (the agency's proxy for demand) averaged over 9.3 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, up about 1.2% compared with the same period a year ago. "More than the real effect of the Iranian sanctions on supply, the geo-political tensions have been affecting the market sentiments", said Hitesh Jain, analyst, commodities, India Infoline.

There's also tension between Syria and the USA, and "ongoing conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Yemen", he says.

Higher oil prices could make those economies more vulnerable, but are unlikely to cause panic. On the other hand, increasing drilling activities among the riggers in America continued to restrict oil price increase.

Further backing oil prices are declining output in Venezuela, OPEC's biggest producer in Latin America, and Angola, Africa's second-largest exporter. State-run oil company PDVSA, which once operated in the same league as the likes of Saudi Aramco, is a mere shadow of its former self, with years of mismanagement and underinvestment leaving it in tatters. Only Russia now produces more, at around 11 million bpd.

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It could try to counter Washington's measures by making it illegal for European Union businesses to comply with US sanctions. The Israeli Minister, who addressed in English, also said Israel has 100,000 "secret files that prove" that Iran lied.