Oil regains some poise, but demand concerns drag

An Iranian oil facility on the Gulf island of Khark is seen in a file

Iran says OPEC has ‘not much credit’ left AFP15 Sep 2018

USA production has returned to 2014 boom levels, but the energy agency said US output will grow more slowly next year due to bottlenecks in getting oil to markets.

"There is no spare capacity anywhere", he said.

The US National Security Adviser John Bolton said last month that the United States is exerting "maximum pressure" on the government of Iran to change its behavior, adding that Washington is prepared to use sanctions to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero.

"Russia and Saudi Arabia claim they seek to balance the global oil market, but they are trying to take over a part of Iran's share", Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted as saying by SHANA, the oil ministry's news agency.

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Iran, a founding member of the cartel, had been against the move which came as the country faces renewed U.S. sanctions after Washington's decision to leave the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

On paper there is enough spare capacity among other OPEC producers and Russian Federation to offset falling Iranian supply-but what exists on paper and what can be brought into production in the next month or so are not necessarily the same. From August 6, Washington re-introduced some of the financial sanctions while the sanctions affecting the petroleum sector of Iran will kick off from November 4.

"Evidence provided by tanker tracking data suggests that Iran's exports have already fallen significantly but we must wait to see if the 500 kb/d of reductions seen so far will grow", the IEA said, noting that Iran, Venezuela, and Libya could be the three primary drivers of further oil market tightening that could push Brent Crude prices to above $80 a barrel in the coming weeks and months.

The Trump administration exited the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran earlier this year, citing Iran's violations of the spirit of the deal.

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India has cleared that it does not recognize the sanctions by the U.S. on Iran but it is negotiating with the United States to win a waiver in order to protect itself from the wider exposure to US financial system.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged OPEC to raise its production.

"Buyers can pay in kind, trade in other currencies, or extend credit - even keep the money in an escrow account in Switzerland and wait until these sanctions are over".

However, after crude oil prices increased in early 2016, investment and production began increasing later that year. "But we have been more bullish than most in terms of how much we are going to lose from Iran and we believe we are going to lose 1.5-1.8 million barrels per day", Sen added.

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Oil cartel OPEC has allowed some members to turn the group into a tool for the USA, a senior Iranian official said in comments published on Saturday.

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