Prices Up Over 1 Percent as OPEC Official Warns of Limited Supply
21 September, 2018, 19:25 | Author: Sara Gill
Oil prices were steady on Wednesday as concerns that producers will not be able to respond to a shortfall in supply once USA sanctions on Iran are enacted outweighed a gain in stockpiles in the United States, the world's biggest oil user.
Brent crude futures were up 16 cents at $79.19 per barrel at 0658 GMT, after rising 1.3 percent in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 28c, or 0.4%, to $68.62 a barrel. Traders are looking for more clarity as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies meet in Algiers later this week to discuss their output.
US crude inventories fell 2.1 million barrels last week to 394.1 million barrels, the lowest level since February 2015, government data showed.
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo says that "Iran is not only a founding member of OPEC, it's a very important member of this organization".
NSD Logo The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC today said, Iran remains a very important member of the oil cartel as Tehran braces for a new round of USA sanctions, partially targeting its crude exports.
US crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels to 397.1 million in the week to September 14, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oil consumption is "robust", but crude use "is beginning to face some headwinds", he said Sunday in an interview in Dubai, without elaborating.
He didn't address how the global oil industry immediately can replace Iranian crude supplies in an already-tight market.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation meet on September 23 in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of Iranian supply.
There are signs, however, that Saudi Arabian exports did not increase in July.
Output from Iran has hit its lowest level since July 2016 as top buyers India and China distance themselves from Tehran due to looming United States sanctions on November 5, according to the International Energy Agency.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he would impose 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
"The brinkmanship between Beijing and Washington has the potential to severely impact the competitiveness of US crude oil and petroleum products in the Chinese market, and it will also deter Chinese investment in the USA energy sector", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.
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