Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. is tentatively preparing a shipment of at least 1 million barrels of light crude to a Mediterranean port in the European Union around mid-February, an Iranian official said. It would be the first shipment to the EU since an embargo on Iranian oil was lifted last week as part of the end of western sanctions. The preparations come as rivals like Russia and Saudi Arabia have been aggressively discounting their crude oil to Europe in a price war ahead of Iran’s full return to the market. Both countries seized a greater share of the Iranian market after western countries tightened sanctions on Iran in 2012.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded – Current: $2.375; Month Ago: $2.205; Year Ago: $2.746;
National Average Price for Diesel – Current: $2.361; Month Ago: $2.224; Year Ago: $2.872
Oil prices were flat on Wednesday, as U.S. crude stockpiles rose higher than expected. Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks hiked by 1.2 million barrels to 397.1 million in the week to Sept. 14, opposed to market expectations of a drop of 2.7 million barrels. Prices of oil have been driven higher in recent months as investors anticipate pressure from U.S. sanctions against Iran. The sanctions, which are expected to go into effect on November 4, have already caused Iran’s crude exports to fall. Click Read More below for additional information.
Oil in New York has retreated to a 10-month low amid concerns that rising global supply will offset production cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners including Russia. OPEC members are in talks about making further curbs to supply, but reaching a consensus will be difficult, according to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. A technical committee of OPEC and non-OPEC members is said to have discussed the rising production in Libya and Nigeria on Tuesday. “The market seems to be very negative due to a very gradual fall in crude oil stocks as well as the positive output data from Libya and Nigeria,” said Axel Herlingaus, senior commodities analyst at DZ Bank AG. “Negative newsflow will be fully priced into the market immediately while more positive newsflow will be ignored,” he said, referring to the EIA data showing that crude and gasoline stockpiles fell last week. Click Read More below for more of the story.