Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

The kingdom assured Trump that Saudi Arabia can raise oil production if needed and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran.

According to the top official, the order issued by the United States leader is "a great insult to [OPEC] governments and nations, and destabilizes the market".

Two other sources said South Korea canceled July loadings of crude and condensate cargoes from Iran as it was uncertain whether the country would receive an exemption from U.S. sanctions on Iran trade.

On Wednesday, Trump accused OPEC of driving fuel prices higher, and urged Saudi Arabia to pump more if it wanted Washington to continue protecting it against its top rival Iran. This must be a two way street.

And it would leave the global market tighter than at any time since the oil shocks of 1973/74 and 1979/80, with resulting upward pressure on prices.

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Reuters in a report on Friday quoted familiar sources as saying that South Korea would not lift any Iranian crude and condensate in July, a claim that was denied by South Korean embassy in Tehran on Saturday. Two other sources also said South Korea cancelled July loadings of crude and condensate cargoes from Iran as it was uncertain whether they can receive an exemption from US sanctions on Iran trade. "When a major consuming country speaks, we listen - we listen to the United States, we listen to China, we listen to India".

Washington said in May it was walking away from an worldwide deal on Iran's nuclear programme, and said it would impose fresh sanctions on Iran's energy sector.

Even if the Europeans cave in to U.S. demands, the world has changed a great deal since the pre-Iran deal era.

"Iran's oil will not lose its customers because a lot of companies are buying oil from the country", said Moayyed Hosseini Sadr, the ministry advisor.

Iran, an OPEC member, faces renewed USA sanctions over Trump's decision to quit the worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran, which has added to supply concerns on world markets. The US has directed all countries to stop all their oil imports from Iran by November 4 in a bid to isolate Iran's funding channels.

South Korea has bought almost 296,000 barrels of oil from Iran in the first five months of the year, and is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China and India.

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