US Lifts Sanction Waiver On Iranian Crude Oil Supply

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Global oil benchmark Brent fell almost 3 per cent to $71 a barrel on Saturday after US President Donald Trump asked oil cartel OPEC to boost production and cool off the surging oil prices.

One of the Trump officials said such a move would hurt both Iran and its allies. His original plan was to reduce Iranian exports to zero but he realized this was nearly impossible, as Iran can export more than one million barrels per day mainly to China, Turkey, and Russian Federation via Iraq.

At the end of the week, WTI settled down at 63.30 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude closed down at 72.15 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

For starters, India was one of the eight countries that had received a six-month waiver from the U.S. sanctions on oil imports from Iran.

The end of waivers won't have any significant impact either on Iranian exports, or the global crude market in general, according to Petr Pushkarev, chief analyst at TeleTrade.

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India's public sector oil companies are likely to face pressure on their margins in the wake of the United States' decision not to extend sanction waivers to any country, including India, on oil imports from Iran.

On Wednesday, oil prices were mixed after data showed a surge in US crude stockpiles. USA crude has soared 44 % a year so far.

"Spoke to Saudi Arabia and others about increasing oil flow".

The Trump administration justified the SREs as part of its efforts to phase out all Iranian crude exports by wanting to avoid a serious oil market disruption that would cause oil prices to skyrocket.

"We understand they don't like this", the official said about China's aversion to sanctions on Iran from the United States alone. Trump's statement is thus being seen as a short-term relief for the oil market.

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The questions facing the market are whether China will flex its economic and political power to buck the Trump administration's hardened stance on Iran's oil sanctions, what retaliatory steps Tehran might take in response to the loss of the waivers and whether the OPEC+ alliance continues to operate.

He also said that it will not be easy to find an alternate for Iran's oil.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a former Foreign Ministry spokesman, has said that if Iran's oil sale is stopped more than one country will be harmed.

"In an announcement, the White House said it was carrying" timely actions to assure that global requirement is fulfilled as most of Iranian oil is removed from the market".

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