"It is too soon to say what will happen this time, but we should examine whether other producers could step in to ensure an orderly flow of oil to the market and offset a disruption to Iranian exports". Crisis-hit Venezuela constituted another big risk, it added.
Venezuela's production is plummeting, and output is 550,000 bpd below it's agreed upon target as part of the OPEC deal. "Because if you reach infrastructure constraints in terms of ability to put additional barrels on the market and you're going to be taking off Iranian barrels - and don't forget Venezuelan production, which has played a huge role in balancing this market - and they (OPEC) could lose a million barrels year-on-year".
On top of that, Venezuela is set to hold a presidential election on May 20, an event that could be met with more painful US sanctions.
Prices have risen since President Donald Trump decided last week to pull the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal, meaning that sanctions will be re-imposed on the oil producer that are likely to impact its production and push prices higher. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast supply declines 2 million barrels for gasoline and 1.3 million barrels for distillates. That data point is worth emphasizing: OPEC has claimed for more than a year that it was trying to erase the inventory surplus, and at least according to IEA data, that mission has now been accomplished.
However, the cure for higher oil prices tends to be higher oil prices.
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The IEA said that the overall market balance was "continuing to tighten", and it lowered its estimate for 2018 global oil demand growth to 1.4 million barrels per day from its previous estimate of 1.5 million.
Spot crude oil cargo prices are at their steepest discounts to futures prices in years as sellers are struggling to find buyers for West African, Russian and Kazakh cargoes, while pipeline bottlenecks trap supply in west Texas and Canada.
"Therefore, world oil demand growth is expected to slow" in the second half of the year.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that global oil supplies could be severely impacted by the USA decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. That suggests demand won't suddenly fall off of a cliff.
Physical crude markets are sagging under the weight of unsold barrels of oil, while the 50 percent rise in oil prices in the a year ago is encouraging major companies such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total to increase output. "It would be extraordinary if such a large jump did not affect demand growth, especially as end-user subsidies have been reduced or cut in several emerging economies in recent years".