Oil steady on high OPEC supply ahead of Iran sanctions

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"President Trump said the U.S. aims to bring Iranian exports down to zero".

According to brokerage PVM Oil Associates' analyst, Stephen Brennock, exports from Iran are dropping faster than had been expected, and now people are expecting things to get even worse as the second wave of sanctions looms ahead in November.

Read the full report at the AP.

"Crude oil export losses from Iran due to USA sanctions, production decline in Venezuela and episodic outages in Libya are unlikely to be offset entirely by corresponding rises in Opec+ production", Tchilinguirian said, referring the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and countries including Russian Federation that reached a deal to curb output to counter low prices.

However, according to energy expert John Kilduff, the Iranian sanctions could actually push up the price of crude oil on the West Texas Intermediate by as much as 30% by this winter.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that US sanctions against Iran, which will target the OPEC-member's oil industry from November, will tighten global supply.

"As long as we can sell our oil, it will be in our interest to stay in the JCPOA, and even if after the November 4, when the U.S. sanctions are officially re-imposed, we could sell our oil, we might consider continuing the work with the JCPOA", the deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying.

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People often focus on the supply side. but what happens if China reduces its consumption?

"It has a lot to do with just lots of positive sentiment in the oil speculator market", said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $151 billion at US Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

"I see that as a possibility as well".

Oxford Economics warned the second wave of United States sanctions attacking Iran's main resources, its oil industry and crude exports, will badly hit its economy.

"And I think, and many people agree with me, that the demand will be impacted - so that's not good for us".

Output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose 220,000 barrels per day (Bpd) in August, to a 2018 high of 32.79 million Bpd (Mmbpd), a Reuters survey found. Five Chinese companies including state-run Chinaoil, Unipec, CNPC Fuel Oil and Zhenhua Oil, along with a private trader, delivered crude against the September contract, marking its first physical settlement event.

Crude inventories fell by 1.17 million barrels to 404.5 million barrels in the week to August 31, while refinery crude runs rose by 198,000 barrels per day, the API data showed. But the imports were still among the lowest this year due to a drop-off in demand from the country's smaller independent refineries.