Iran Exports Soar Ahead of Possible New Sanctions

Iraq can afford to play hard

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery added 0.68 USA dollar to settle at 67.93 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for July delivery increased 0.23 dollar to close at 73.36 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The possibility of United States sanctions over Iran could push oil markets over the edge short-term, with prices rising up to $80 per barrel but the real impact on Iranian crude supplies to the market may be felt six months after the May 12 deadline on the Iran nuclear deal, according to analysts. Output dropped to 1.50 million bpd in April, the survey found, a new long-term low.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 50 cents to $67.75 per barrel.

The rising inventories are in part a result of soaring USA production, which has jumped by more than a quarter in the last two years to 10.6 million barrels per day (bpd), making the United Statesthe world's number two Crude OilProducerbehind only Russian Federation, with 11 million bpd.

The speculation on Iran and escalating geopolitical risks have driven crude futures in NY and London more than 10% higher over the past two months.

USA crude inventories rose 3.43 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report.

Ahead, the American Petroleum Institute reports its estimates of weekly USA crude oil stocks at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Iran Exports Soar Ahead of Possible New Sanctions

"The geopolitical risk forces are strong", said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB A/B in Oslo.

US producers are being incentivised to ramp up production as OPEC restricts production and raises prices.

Brent sweet crude for new July delivery was up 1 cent at 74.70 dollars.

The May 12 deadline for U.S. President Donald Trump to decide whether to continue waiving U.S. sanctions against Iran was also underpinning prices.

Futures for September delivery were little changed at 443.8 yuan per barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. The contract dropped $1.32 on Tuesday. The industry body was also said to show crude inventories in the American oil-storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 725,000 barrels last week. Fritsch said the cuts, along with demand growth, were more than offsetting the increase in United States oil. Much of the oil is low-priced and easily extractable and, following the lift of nuclear-related sanctions in 2016, Iran was viewed the last frontier by Big Oil in search of cheap reserves.

The US decision on the Iranian nuclear deal also remains in focus after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that his country has documents that prove Tehran had a secret nuclear weapons program.

Crude oil is trading almost flat early Wednesday as investors continue to wait for the proverbial shoe to fall in regards to the sanctions on Iran.

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