Oil prices drop as storm threat eases on US Gulf coast

Donald Trump

International Brent crude futures fell 16 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to $78.01 a barrel.

"Storm in a teacup", said analysts at JBC Energy, referring to Gordon's limited impact on oil pricing. Yesterday, WTI ended the day slightly higher while Brent crude traded at highs last seen in July earlier this year. Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, which also signed the nuclear deal, opposed the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from it.

According to the news report by Reuters, the week started with the price of oil gaining due to concerns that the reduced output from Iran once the USA sanctions kick in are going to tighten the markets.

Tehran is offering nearly free shipping and extended credit period, arranging for tankers and insurance after Indian firms including Shipping Corp of India (SCI) were forced to halt voyages to Iran due to U.S. sanctions.

The wild card in all of this is the total impact of USA sanctions on Iranian crude flows.

Firstly, two types of condensate, Lease and Plant, are defined by the U.S.as "petroleum products" as opposed to crude oil and so can be sold by Iran without the country breaking any sanctions.

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Oil price could rise 30%.

What's noteworthy about OPEC's August performance is that while production from the cartel's de facto leader Saudi Arabia edged up 10.48 million bpd, this was still intentionally lower than the kingdom's 10.60 million bpd showing for June - suggesting that if the Saudis chose to put aside worries about flooding the market and pump full out, OPEC could arguably put to rest persistent criticism that it isn't able to make up for shortfalls from Iran or Venezuela. With the United States increasingly exporting oil, weather disturbances can also cause price increases.

Japan's efforts to get a waiver from Washington that would allow it to continue importing oil from Iran appear to have been unsuccessful, according to Jiji Press, who adds that Japanese oil companies are now forced to prepare to suspend Iranian imports and investigate ways in which they can switch to other Middle East producers.

Despite these fears, the global markets don't have much to worry about as they are still fairly well supplied.

Market participants were also watching Tuesday for developments in the US-China trade war, with the US expected to announce another round of tariffs on Chinese goods. On Tuesday prices had climbed to $79.72, their highest since May. The country produced an average of 11.21 MMbopd in August, according to data emailed Sunday by the Russian Energy Ministry's CDU-TEK unit. "If there is a serious trade disagreement between the US and China, the Chinese consumption of energy will be impacted negatively, from our point of view and the ability to produce and export will be impacted", he said at the World Heavy Oil Congress.

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