Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Iran says no major change in oil exports despite USA pressure

Iran says no major change in oil exports despite USA pressure

Iran's oil minister has hit back at Donald Trump today over his demand for more production, branding the president's orders as an insult to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

Iran's Opec governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted in June as saying that oil prices could jump to $140 a barrel due to the United States sanctions against the country and Venezuela.

President Trump's response has been to demand that OPEC boost its oil production by two million barrels per day to calm markets and bring prices down.

On Wednesday, Trump said in a tweet the "OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help".

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has told Opec it pumped 10.488 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil last month, an increase of 458,000bpd from the level it said it produced in May, Opec sources told Reuters on Thursday. Find us on Facebook too!

The administration has not been clear about whether sanctions will apply just to crude or will include condensates ("Briefing with an Iran diplomacy update", State Department, July 2).

Another option President Trump has for increasing the supply of oil is tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve to reduce pressure on oil prices.

Oil prices could jump steeply to cross $120 per barrel in a not-to-be ruled out scenario of zero Iranian exports combined with Opec's lack of preparedness to offset the huge supply deficit, market analysts said.

President Donald Trump said in May he would pull the United States out of an worldwide accord under which Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief. And some of its major European allies have been working to prevent the 2015 deal from falling apart.

After India-US relations soured over India's oil imports from Iran, Iran has put India in a spot of bother now.

On Saturday, a petroleum ministry official told state-run IRNA news agency that the US sanctions against Iran's oil exports will weaken the OPEC.

The purchase was partly to compensate for a decline in Venezuelan heavy grade Merey, said one of the officials.

South Korea has bought almost 296,000 barrels of oil from Iran in the first five months of the year, and is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China and India.

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