'South Korean firms to stay in Iran despite United States bans'

Asia markets

REUTERS Toru Hanai

Balancing the US data were reports that Iranian exports of crude oil may be falling faster than expected ahead of new USA sanctions on Tehran from November 4.

"The problem is the United States has the capability of increasing production substantially, but we don't have the pipelines to take that extra crude from West Texas, North Dakota, the Rockies to the market very, very quickly".

The U.S. administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports and encouraging Saudi Arabia, other OPEC states and Russian Federation to pump more oil to meet any shortfall.

"I mean, it has the potential to really blow up and to send prices to numbers that I didn't think we'd see again in our lifetime".

"There is no problem on this issue", Kardor said, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

The rise, reported by the US Energy Information Administration was nearly triple what analysts had forecast and further eased prices, which had hit four-year highs of $86.74 earlier this month.

But Saudi Arabia has assured OPEC that it is "committed, capable and willing" to ensure there will be no shortage in the oil market, OPEC's secretary-general said on Wednesday.

"Our view is that the market is now adequately supplied and well balanced". So you know, there's one thing that could really impact oil prices beyond sort of the geopolitics, and that's demand.

Russia's oil production in August of 11.21 million barrels per day, near the post-Soviet era high reached the month prior to signing the OPEC+ deal that curbed its production.

National Iranian Oil Co slashed the cost of its oil for export to Asia in November, in an attempt to make its barrels more attractive to buyers.

Out of this, supplies in the first seven months, till October, have not been impacted. Support is being fueled by concerns over a supply shortage.

Oil had been rising on worries about Iranian sanctions and tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia after the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

South Korean buyers, which are among major Asian buyers of Iran's crude oil, suspended Iranian oil loading from July due to the uncertainty of getting a waiver from the U.S. government.

"When oil companies enter into annual term contracts for buying crude oil, there are two components mentioned - firm supplies and optional supplies". That's 2 percent higher than the five year average for this time of year.

Speaking at India Energy Forum, its oil minister Khalid al-Falih heaped lavish praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for making it easier to do business in the country and ushering in "acche din".

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