Iran downplays impact of US sanction threats on oil exports

An aerial view of an Iranian floating oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf

"U.S. shale potential is still largely unknown and the outlooks on markets such as Iran, Libya and Venezuela are highly uncertain", the analysts said.

Perhaps no one told him that Iran was a founding member of OPEC?

This has had traders anxious that the market is in for a shortage, which will cause prices to jump even higher, with some forecasting Brent at over US$100 a barrel.

Zanganeh said Trump's anti-OPEC remarks are the causes of the increase in the prices in the oil market over the past days.

With oil prices rising to three-year highs last week, Trump exhorted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to "REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

"An increase in production of this magnitude would wipe out the bulk of remaining spare capacity, globally". So much can change in oil markets in the course of a few weeks.

On Saturday, Zanganeh was quoted as saying that the United States president had insulted OPEC by trying to force Saudi Arabia to increase its production.

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OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its allies are doing what they can to offset crude output shortfalls that have kept global supplies tight and prices high, but they don't want to overdo it.

The current all-time United States annual output peak was in 1970 at 9.6 million bpd, according to federal energy data.

Reuters in a report quoted estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as showing that Saudi Arabia would have to pump an extra volume of at least 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

"Maximum production would require opening the chokes on existing wells and bringing previously shut-in wells back into service", Reuters added.

Some spare capacity might require drilling new wells within existing fields, in which case it is not strictly speaking spare capacity at all.

Others believe that it is not clear whether the pipelines, processing plants and export terminals have enough capacity to handle 12 million bpd because such high flow rates have never been tested.

The comments this morning follow on from yesterday's news that Saudi Arabia raised oil output by about 500,000 barrels per day in June. "So it appears the oil market has little confidence that Saudi can manage to reach and maintain 11mn b/d and raise exports proportionally without continuing to draw down its inventories further".

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