Despite prevailing uncertainty and tensions in the region, some analysts conversely claim that oil prices might decline by the end of this year and fall to $80 or even $70 per barrel because expectations of rise in demand for oil this year has set the demand at 1.53 million barrels per day, compared to 1.46 million barrels per day in 2019.
The rising tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia that had caused crude prices to increase earlier this week proved not to be a factor on Wednesday, partly due to USA president Donald Trump now seeming to give the kingdom the benefit of the doubt in its declaration that it had nothing to do with the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The country made the decision to cut its oil imports long before U.S. sanctions against Iran take effect in November 4.
Offering oil will be continued till November 4, the date when the second round of U.S. sanctions will be imposed, and the new decision about continuing selling crude oil in the stock market for export and some other details in this regard would rely on the made assessments and the gained experiences in this period, Kardor said.
The government is to offer oil in the form of at least 35,000-barrel-cargos and the total of one million barrels per day at IRENEX, he announced addressing the 4th Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress & Exhibition in Tehran.
An unnamed source from the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) told Reuters on Friday that the firm had been shipping over 20 million barrels of oil to China's northeastern port of Dalian.
Exports of Iranian crude oil have been in jeopardy since the White House announced that it is re-imposing unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
For all these reasons, the oil weapon is essentially useless, an unreliable blunderbuss more likely to blow up the user than its intended target, which is why Saudi Arabia is unlikely to deploy it. US light crude CLc1 was 40 cents higher at $69.05.
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"We evaluate waivers on a case by case basis", said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
Meanwhile, buyers are scrambling to find alternative supply at a time when higher crude prices and a stronger dollar have boosted the import bills for American allies.
The Iranian official, in turn, said the Islamic Republic expects South Korea as one of its key business partners to continue its operation in Iran in the situation created by the U.S. sanctions. The Asian nation will continue to negotiate "tenaciously" with America to maintain crude imports from the Persian Gulf state, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said last month.
The biggest X-factor remains Iran.
The IEA said in its October Oil Market Report that India's purchases from Iran jumped from 390,000 bpd in August to 600,000 bpd in September.
During 2017, Iran was Turkey's top crude oil source, accounting for 11.5 million tons of its total purchases nearing 26 million tons, followed by Iraq and Russian Federation.
While most incremental demand data points have been negative (not the least of which is the steep drop in refining margins) we remain constructive on crude prices given the risks around supply, Gammel wrote.