Will Washington loosen anti-Iranian sanctions?

Saudi Arabia unable to replace lost Iranian oil – Iran’s oil minister

"These statements were made due to Mr. Trump's pressure on Saudi authorities". Iran has pledged to block any OPEC supply increase that the country deems to be against its interest. Not only does the market have the jitters about less Iranian oil hitting the market, a development that is already unfolding at an accelerated pace, but persistent production problems in Nigeria, Libya and Venezuela (all OPEC members) remain, causing many to forecast Brent to breach $100 per barrel by next year.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced plans to lift crude output next month to 10.7 million bpd, a record.

As the Iran sanctions still on the table and looming large, potential spare capacity constraints and also slowdown in USA drilling, US bank JP Morgan said in its most recent cross-asset outlook for clients that it recommended to "stay long Jan '19 WTI on supply risks to crude".

"Iranian barrels are declining fast and Saudi Arabia's promise to balance will face a reality check in a month's time", JP Morgan said in a note.

"The market and the increase of prices are the best evidence that the market faces a shortage and it is anxious about a severe shortage of oil supply", Zangeneh added. In August, U.S.re-imposed a part of the sanctions on Iran targeting the country's access to the USD and dollar-based financial markets. India is Iran's top oil client after China. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran's oil sales and its Central Bank.

Indian refineries initially planned to cut imports of Iranian crude to zero because of the threat of U.S. sanctions on companies that deal with Tehran.

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Following al-Falih's cue, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak agreed that geopolitical risks were having a disproportionate impact on global oil prices, which have recently breached new four-year highs.

“Once the evacuation happens, it's inevitable that oil production comes to a halt and we should expect short-term gains in gasoline as well as crude prices in the area, ” Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc., said by phone.

Iran's oil minister said on Monday that the market will never believe "exaggerated" claims by Saudi Arabia that it can replace Iranian oil shipments lost due to renewed US sanctions.

These claims aim to satisfy the U.S. and express support for Washington's sanctions against Iran, he added.

In the previous round of US sanctions on Iran from 2012 to 2015, India continued to purchase Iran's oil although it was forced to dramatically reduce its purchases to protect its wider exposure to the USA financial system.

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Wednesday suspended his advisory role on the board of Saudi Arabia's megacity project Neom until more information is known about missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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