Trump administration pressure on Tehran forces Iran to start selling discounted oil

Trump administration pressure on Tehran forces Iran to start selling discounted oil

Trump administration pressure on Tehran forces Iran to start selling discounted oil

Oil production from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose in July, despite supply shortfalls from Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

General view of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 dipped 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $72.61 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 declined 43 cents to settle at $67.20 a barrel, with a 0.7 percent loss.

OPEC's monthly report published on Monday, which uses data from secondary sources, confirmed the Saudi cut, which traders said triggered crude's upward move early on Tuesday. Brent, the worldwide benchmark, shed 0.3% to $72.74 a barrel.

However, OPEC ran out the prospect that trade spat between the U.S. and China to have much impact on the world's oil demand, unless the rifts reach beyond the world's largest two economies.

The United States will seek to block Iran's worldwide oil sales from November 5, when the second phase of sanctions are reimposed as part of Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. Non-OPEC production is now expected to be 59.62 million bpd in 2018, a 2.08 million bpd increase from previous year.

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The battle of wills between Tehran and the Trump administration intensified Monday, as Iranian officials privately admitted they will soon sell discounted oil and gas to Asian customers as they brace for the return of US sanctions.

Oil prices steadied on Monday as trade tensions and troubled emerging markets dented the outlook for fuel demand, though USA sanctions against Iran pointed towards tighter supply ahead.

Global oil demand is also rising, but not as fast as supply.

Turkey is a relatively small oil consumer, accounting for less than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or around 1 percent of global demand, but Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch says the impact of the Turkish crisis could be considerable.

Beyond the darkening economic outlook, Phillip Futures said hedge funds had reduced bullish bets because of "rising production levels from OPEC and the United States".

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