Oil prices rise on Iran sanctions, outlook uncertain

Daily November WTI Crude Oil

Daily November WTI Crude Oil

The US crude oil price is pausing for breath after its strong advance ahead of US sanctions on Iran, which take effect on November 4.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell $2.08 to settle at $74.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at $84.90 per barrel at 0431 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.4 percent from their last close.

"Admittedly, supply-side concerns are pushing the oil price higher, but there are now clear warning signs on the demand-side, which could yet send prices lower", said Capital Economics in a note to clients.

Brent, the global benchmark, rose more than 1.5% to almost $86 per barrel. "Well, probably to some extent he's right, but we are absolutely OK with it at $65 to $75 per barrel to ensure the efficient operation of oil companies and ensure investment", Putin said on Wednesday during an address to delegates at the Russia Energy Week forum in Moscow.

Iran's crude and condensate exports have tapered off sharply since early May when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the country.

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However, high crude prices, combined with widespread emerging market currency weakness, threaten growth. The contract is on course for a gain of around 2.5 percent for the week.

Despite communications between policymakers in the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to synchronize output increases with the re-introduction of sanctions there seem to have been a series of misunderstandings.

Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview on state television that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lacked the capacity to produce more oil to make up for the drop in Iranian sales. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.75 premium to WTI for the same month. Originally, the plan had apparently been to officially announce a production increase of 500,000 barrels per day, but this met with opposition from a number of countries, including Iran. The responses varied widely, with one analyst forecasting a 3.65 million-barrel gain, while some others predict a decrease of 2.5 million to 3 million barrels.

The government also expected to sell 2.4 million barrels per day of oil during the current Iranian calendar year, which started in mid-March, but it exported 2.5 barrels in reality, he said.

Due to effect delivery and payment processes, the effects of the sanctions to be imposed on Iran started to impact the market on September 20, according to information compiled from the Iranian Embargo-Turkish Straits report prepared by the Bilkent University Energy Policy Research Center (EPRC).

-With assistance from Stephen Stapczynski.

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