Iran’s interim deal with global powers on its nuclear program may do little to remove the risk premium on Middle East oil and may even send prices higher, according to an analyst.
“Price reaction may be subdued in the short-term,” said Michael Cohen, analyst at Barclays Bank Plc. in a telephone interview from New York. “There are so many geopolitical tensions that, if anything, could actually be worse off [due to] this deal.”
A global deal to lift sanctions against Iran could unleash a flood of oil on to world markets by next year just as crude output recovers in Libya and Iraq, triggering a slide in prices and a major shake-up of the energy landscape.
The prospect of cheaper oil is a welcome relief for the West, but poses a major threat to Russia and a string of countries that depend on oil revenues to finance their budgets.
What is Saudi Arabia’s bottom line for propping up oil prices unilaterally before it leans on the rest of OPEC to help share the burden?
At $112 a barrel for Brent crude, well above OPEC’s preferred $100, it may not look like a hot issue just yet.
As Ali al-Naimi, oil minister for Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer said this week, the oil market is in “the best situation it can be” and at “the right price.”
Middle East oil exporters are locked in an increasingly fierce battle for the world’s fastest-growing markets in Asia, as producers worldwide ship more crude east to compensate for shrinking demand from the United States and Europe.
The fight for the trillion-dollar Asian oil market has ended decades of comfortable dominance for Middle East producers, who faced so little competition that refiners in Asia complained of being charged a premium of a dollar or so per barrel above what buyers in Europe or the Americas paid.
Iraq is sharpening a push to sell its swelling crude output and sit at oil’s top table with Saudi Arabia, sweetening terms for contract buyers next year, its customers say.
Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi held court to oil executives in Vienna’s Hotel Imperial last week on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting. Some buyers have said they were concerned by higher prices and variable quality.
VIENNA — OPEC oil exporters on Thursday were in no mood to fight over how much crude to produce and instead weighed the impact of rising supplies of U.S. shale and a looming turf war in Asia.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has little room to pump more oil due to the U.S. oil boom that has sparked competition for marketshare in Asia and set off a rivalry between its top two producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer as the jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history, according to leading U.S. energy consultancy PIRA.
U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia’s output from 1970-1974, PIRA said in a release on Tuesday.
Easing geopolitical tensions, improving crude supplies and tepid demand growth are expected to push oil prices lower next year, a Reuters poll showed.
The 32 analysts surveyed for the September poll forecast Brent crude oil to average $107.70 per barrel this year.
The benchmark is seen falling to $105.10 in 2014, and $102.50 in 2015.
VIENNA — OPEC oil exporters, basking in the market’s equilibrium, agreed to leave output policy unchanged on Friday as oil held around the group’s preferred level of $100 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will retain its 30 million barrels per day (bpd) production target for the rest of this year, said Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, after a swift meeting at OPEC headquarters.
The group is due to gather again on December 4.