Denmark's Torm says stops taking orders in Iran due to US Sanctions

Foreign ministers from the UK, France and Germany will meet with their Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, to discuss salvaging an accord that allows Iranian oil exports, after the US withdrew last week.

The difference between the two grades briefly widened to more than $8 a barrel, the widest gap since April 2015, reflecting surging USA crude supplies and a greater geopolitical risk to Brent-based crudes. "Brent is pricing in the idea that all the risk to supplies is overseas - there's a concern that all the supplies that are tight in Europe are only going to get tighter".

Markets have generally tightened as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, have been withholding supplies since 2017 in order to push up oil prices.

The United States last week withdrew from an global nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country.

Iran will restart its uranium enrichment if it can not find a way to save the 2015 nuclear deal with the European Union after the United States pulled out last week, Tehran's government spokesman said on Tuesday.

The data poses worries that near-record high refinery runs may be short-lived. A lot will depend on how other major oil consumers respond to Washington's action against Tehran, which will take effect in November, Reuters reported.

Trump's CIA Pick Faces Senate Grilling
Haspel didn't talk about ultimatums or engage in hypotheticals about storming out of the Oval Office or offering her resignation. McCain, who is at home in Arizona recovering from surgery and treatment for cancer, will not be casting a vote on Haspel.

WTI light sweet oil was up 57 cents at USD71.52 a barrel, having touched the highest in 4 years.

What this amounts to on a grander scale, Descalzi argued, is uncertainty for investors, especially those involved with long term multi-billion dollar projects: "And when there is a lot of uncertainty, the investment is not easy to be performed; but there are so many other geopolitical issues, that the landscape is very hard to understand where we're going".

Oil rallied this month to the highest since 2014 as tensions in the Middle East escalated and after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 accord that had curbed Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

OPEC figures published on Monday showed that oil inventories in OECD industrialised nations in March fell to 9 million barrels above the five-year average, down from 340 million barrels above the average in January 2017. The production growth may be far from over, contributing to USA crude´s discount to Brent, analysts said.

Rosneft's total average daily hydrocarbon production was at 5.71 million barrels of oil equivalent in the first quarter, close to levels in the same period a year ago.

  • Megan Austin