Iran to allow private sector to export oil, beat U.S. sanctions

Mr Trump who is spending the weekend at his golf property in New Jersey said in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed to produce more oil. AFP  SAUL LOEB

On Sunday, Iran's Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that the country was considering oil exports by the private sector in a bid to thwart U.S. sanctions.

There have been reports all over the financial media that president Trump is demanding that Saudi Arabia increase production by 2 million barrels per day. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

The issue is of concern as crude oil prices hit four-year highs.

"A key driver of the rise in prices has been the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil output, compounded by collapsing Venezuelan production and the U.S. decision to end the Iran deal", National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its July outlook. Saudi Arabia boosted oil production in June by the most in five years, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

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The agreement from Saudi Arabia is surprising as in recent months they have agreed with Russian Federation and other OPEC+ members to keep production relatively low. That means just three countries, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia, meet a third of global oil demand. The move lower is attributable to Saudi Arabia's willingness to increase demand at the request of US President Donald Trump.

Supply disruptions have lifted prices to multi-year highs this year, and US futures have rallied recently on supply outages in Libya and at a Canadian facility that weighed on available USA crude supply.

The president, in an interview with Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo also piled pressure on close U.S. allies with a threat to sanction European companies that do business with Iran". Back in 1997-99 the Kingdom allegedly engineered this sort of confusion, taking the oil market for a wild ride: a big decline in early 1997 was followed by a big jump in late 1997, which lasted until early 2000.

Ardebili also noted that Trump is impolite in his rhetoric, and Middle Eastern producers never respond in the United States president's style. But with inventories already below five-year averages and little spare capacity available, oil markets look set to tighten. It's no surprise that Trump wants more Saudi oil on the market, but he likely misunderstood what the Saudis told him. "Our brothers in Saudi Arabia are a proud Muslim nation, educated and mature who do not let you talk with such rhetoric". Trump has withdrew from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal signed by Iran and P5+1, five permanent members of UNSC plus Germany. Most of the rally has been fueled by supply disruptions in Canada, Venezuela and Libya as well as the looming sanctions against Iran. The OPEC quota in this agreement is 1.2 mln barrels. He added that it is "incorrect and unwise" to think that "one day all oil producing countries would export their surplus oil and Iran would be the only country that can not export its oil".

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