USA rejects ICJ ruling that asked it to ease action on Iran

Kenny Grant
October 8, 2018

White House officials had said over the summer they would push to bring Iranian crude exports "down to zero" and would be unlikely to grant any waiver exemptions, including to allies such as India and South Korea, two of Iran's largest oil customers.

Crude oil prices stayed steady Friday after a volatile week that saw the highest prices in four years.

Friday marked the end of a particularly volatile week for crude that saw one massive uptick, one massive loss, and everything in between, and culminating in flat trading for the Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks - with traders obsessed over what market impact the USA sanctions against Iran will have when they come into effect in November. Two months later, Iran asked the court to demand the USA lift sanctions against it.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.80 a barrel.

WTI crude was up 26 cents to $74.59 a barrel in mid-day trading while Brent was up 9 cents to trade at $84.67 a barrel. OPEC's hesitance to drive prices lower, along with supply drops from Iran on the order of 1.5 million barrels a day, made for bullish sentiment at the meeting of the Asian oil industry in Singapore.

Speaking to hundreds of members of the Basij militia and top Revolutionary Guard leaders gathered at Tehran's Azadi stadium, he said: "The situation of the nation, region and world is sensitive, especially for us the people of Iran".

Washington wants governments and companies around the world to stop buying Iranian oil to put pressure on Tehran to renegotiate a nuclear deal.

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India will buy nine million barrels of Iranian oil in November, in a signal the world's third-biggest oil importer will continue purchasing crude from the Islamic republic despite USA sanctions coming into force on November 4.

With Iran sanctions still on the table, potential spare capacity constraints and also a slowdown in USA drilling, U.S. bank J.P.Morgan said in its latest cross-asset outlook for clients that it recommended to "stay long Jan '19 WTI on supply risks to crude".

Crude futures rose to a four-year high this past week as the market prepares for the return of USA sanctions on Iran, the world's seventh largest producer of oil and a significant military power in the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world's oil supply passes each day.

Oil prices showed little reaction to Al-Falih's comments.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals another 3 million barrels, the source said.

The Iranians have ignored the treaty "for an awfully long time", Mr Pompeo told reporters.

However, analysts do not expect Brent prices to go up to $100 per barrel as the fundamentals are not that supportive.

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