In a potentially bearish development, an Iranian supertanker with 2 million barrels of oil headed to Asia after sitting in Iranian waters for months, the first vessel storing crude to sail after this week’s agreement between global powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. Second, most industry watchers believe Iran has 30 million to 40 million barrels of oil in floating storage sailing in circles in the Persian Gulf. Angola, Ecuador, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates saw production declines of 67,200 barrels a day. It estimated world’s daily oil supply grew by 220,000 barrels last month to average 94.03 million barrels.
“Sanctions have crippled Iran’s oil production, halving oil exports and severely limiting new development projects”. The deal would also lead to the payment of outstanding dues towards oil imports of almost $6.5 billion from Iran as payment channels might open up post lifting of the sanctions for some refiners, India Ratings estimated.
The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) traded down about 0.7% as well, at $33.55 in a 52-week range of $31.51 to $57.99.
Ambitions to regain full capacity or expand it won’t be possible without substantial investment by foreign oil companies, which will be reluctant to re-enter Iran until the legal implications are clearer, according to London-based consultants Energy Aspects Ltd.
Another question worth posing is whether the outlook for demand is going to be more of a factor in determining oil prices. They doubt that Iran’s return would pose a serious challenge to their market share or force Opec to address Iran’s request for room to be made for it in the market, at least for now. The British pound hit a fresh seven-year high against the euro after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on Thursday suggested a rate hike may come sooner than markets expect.
“There are still concerns about an oversupply of oil”, he added.
The sanctions, implemented in 2012, reduced Iran’s crude exports by nearly half, cutting revenue from petroleum sales to a nine-year low in 2014. IPAA also voiced its support for legislation authored by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), which seeks to lift the outdated ban on oil exports.
And once production from Iran comes back online, this will likely put additional pressure on oil prices. Oil prices have fallen steadily over the last two months and both crude benchmarks are now down more than 15 percent from their June peaks. The gasoline crack spread thus continued to fall yesterday, which may serve to explain the weak price.