Iran Claims Its Oil Exports 'Unstoppable'

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With U.S. sanctions on Iranian exports due to take effect on Nov. 4, two people with knowledge of the matter said two Chinese state-owned refiners were not planning to load Iranian oil for November.

Saudi Arabia can boost its crude production from the current 10.7 million barrels a day to counter supply losses from Iran, minister Al-Falih said at a conference in Riyadh.

"As long as America targets Iran, one of the biggest crude producers, with sanctions, the volatility in the oil market will continue", Zageneh said. "Two of our oil companies have made nominations to purchase Iranian oil in November".

Al-Falih said plans to diversify the economy will continue, but oil and gas expansion will also remain a priority. However, the effects of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, and the potential response from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries pose significant uncertainty to the forecast.

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Key players in the market are now issuing contradictory warnings, with the International Energy Agency fearing a looming shortage as OPEC frets about a resurgent glut. That's the highest it has been in 3 years and 11 months.

The resumption of sanctions on Iran adds uncertainty to crude oil prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. "We dropped precipitously on the idea global demand is going to slow".

Recent moves in Brent crude illustrate this contradiction.

In 2019, OPEC spare production capacity is expected to fall to 1.3 million barrels per day, from 1.6 million barrels per day in 2018. U.S. has been significantly increasing its crude oil production and exports since 2016 amid increase in crude oil prices and tightening of supply market.

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He stressed that Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, and for decades, has used its oil policy as a responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics. Cushing crude stocks rose to 33 million barrels on Tuesday, up nearly 1.8 million barrels from the previous week, traders said, citing a report by market intelligence firm Genscape.

EIA forecasts US crude oil production will increase by 1 million barrels per day in 2019.

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday the oil market could be shifting towards oversupply in the fourth quarter of the year as oil inventories rise and demand slows, and the top oil exporter will "mirror" such changes in its production.

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