Iran to only trade with countries that import its oil

Oscar PerryJul 09, 2018

The lack of response in USA crude oil to a demand earlier this week by President Donald Trump that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut its prices has added to the evidence that a further move higher is possible once the current period of consolidation is over.

In a letter to United Arab Emirates Energy Minister and OPEC President Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said: "OPEC decisions by no means warrant any action by some of its member countries in pursuit of the call for production increase by U.S., politically motivated against Iran". Some members should remember that the United States is defending them for little reciprocal benefits, he added.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said Saudi Arabia's King Salman had agreed to his request to increase oil output "maybe up to" two million barrels. However, summer months in the USA usually lead to increased demand for oil, boosting the price of gasoline in a midterm election year.

Hossein Kazempour, Iran's OPEC Governor, thinks prices are rising because of Trump's tweets.

As for Trump's enthusiastic use of social media, Ardebili added, "Your tweets have increased the prices by at least $10; please stop this method".

Crude prices ended slightly higher yesterday after a volatile session in which the United States benchmark passed US$75 (RM303) a barrel for the first time in more than three years before turning negative and later recouping its losses.

Yesterday, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards in Tehran warned that any attempt to undermine Iran's oil exports will lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz-a narrow waterway vital to oil distribution in the Persian Gulf region.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at.98 per barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels last week, the first increase in three weeks.

USA crude futures were down 58c at $73.56 a barrel by 4pm GMT, still in sight of Tuesday's three-and-a-half-year high above $75.

Najib's stepson Riza Aziz at MACC HQ to have statement recorded
Najib was arrested by Malaysian anti-corruption agents and Malaysian authorities said he will be charged in court on Wednesday. Alleged corruption at the 1MDB fund helped bring on the unexpected defeat of Najib's coalition in the May 9 polls.

The price went up when OPEC made a decision to cut production previous year.

The U.S. government has demanded that all countries stop buying Iran's oil from November.

The clash over OPEC policy and the resumption of U.S. sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path toward a full-blown trade conflict.

"REDUCE PRICING NOW!", Trump tweeted on Wednesday, accusing OPEC of "doing little to help" lower pump prices.

The White House said Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud agreed to raise output after the Trump administration ordered all countries to stop buying oil from the Islamic Republic by November or face USA sanctions, as part of Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Brent for September settlement was little changed at $77.78 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $6.53 premium to WTI for the same month.

Trump's order for oil producing countries to raise output "is very insulting to the people of these countries and would undermine their national sovereignty and destabilize the oil market", he said. Last month, in an interview with Reuters, he said that "you (Trump) can not place sanctions on two OPEC founder members and still blame OPEC for oil price volatility".

The decline in fuel inventories was largely down to the outage at Syncrude Canada's 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil sands facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

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