US Pushing for ‘Calibrated’ Approach on Zero Iran Oil Exports

Kenny Grant
November 10, 2018

"From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke points in between, Iranian tankers are now a floating liability", Hook told reporters.

Consultant FGE estimated the waivers granted to China, India and six other nations will allow Iran to continue shipping 1.2 million to 1.7 million barrels a day, more than previously expected. "Key to short-term fundamentals - and price action - is the risk that Iran exports fall faster and more than new capacity can ramp-up, with high uncertainty on the level of U.S. potential waivers".

Iran's exports peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, including 300,000 bpd of condensate, a lighter form of oil. It means any country or operation that would help Iran against United States national interests would face USA sanctions.

Speaking at a briefing, Hook said Washington's "maximum pressure" strategy was also going to apply to escrow accounts holding Iranian oil revenues.

While US sanctions have been re-imposed, eight countries have been given temporary waivers to keep the oil prices down, as US President Donald Trump says.

"America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions", Rouhani said. "We have worked with the Saudis, the Emiratis, and other producers to make sure production is up so that historic buyers of Iranian oil are not disadvantaged", he added. "And sentiment is more complicated about how severe the Iranian sanctions will be".

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Reuters reported that India aims to sign an initial agreement with Iran this month to settle all their oil trade in rupees through India's UCO Bank, two Indian government sources said.

Oil suppliers who were temporarily dormant also came online. Expectations for weaker-than-anticipated global economic growth, the ongoing U.S.

Brent futures for January settlement edged up 15 cents to $70.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Officials from both banks said, however, that won-denominated payments for Iranian oil were still being reviewed, and that no schedule a for resumption was set yet.

Hook raised the possibility that countries and port operators could face US penalties for facilitating Iran's "illicit activities" if they allowed Iranian ships access to global waterways and port facilities.

New Delhi has been a key partner in development of the Chabahar port which is being considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries.

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