Tom Kirkman

Iran’s oil buyers jump ship / Missiles target Syrian (Iranian?) oil smuggling

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Not looking so well for Iran and its oil allies these days.  2 related articles.  Seems the Saudi / U.S. plan to squeeze Iran and Syria may be gaining traction.

Iran’s economy crumbling as oil buyers jump ship

The reopening of an Iraq-Syria border crossing in an area under the control of Iran-affiliated militias could provide an oil smuggling route for Tehran.

Iran’s main revenue source continued to be squeezed as Tehran’s most loyal oil customers have heeded the Trump administration’s bidding and stopped buying Iranian oil.

... The reopening of an Iraq-Syria border crossing in an area under the control of Iran-affiliated militias could provide an oil smuggling route for Tehran. The Al-Qaim border crossing connects Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province to Iraq’s Anbar province and is being readied for opening.

Iran also reportedly delivered 1 million barrels of crude into the Syrian port of Baniyas in early May, resuming illicit Iranian crude deliveries to Syria by sea that had ceased at the end of 2018.



Syrian ship carrying oil struck by missile in eastern Syria: video

The U.S. Coalition and their allies attacked two Syrian government ferries as they were attempting to smuggle oil from eastern Syria this weekend.

According to a report from the Euphrates Post, the SDF fired a Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) towards a Syrian government ferry, scoring a direct hit on the ship.

Below is the alleged footage of SDF’s attack on the Syrian government ferry:


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Something you repeat often Tom.

I have repeated this on the forum as well many many times, major Iranian oil buyers will jump the Iranian oil buying ship in a  heartbeat if threatened with sanctions, they dont want to risk their economies and the benefits they get by being a US partner. India, Japan, South Korea and others have already been following the sanction directives.



Middle East tensions to support Brent near $70 this year

Brent crude prices are likely to hold near $70 a barrel in the remainder of the year as elevated supply risks in the Middle East offset risks to demand from the U.S.-China trade spat, a Reuters survey showed.

A monthly survey of 43 economists and analysts forecast that Brent crude will average $68.84 per barrel in 2019, little changed from the previous poll’s $68.57 consensus but above the $66.80 average for the international benchmark so far this year.

“Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are supporting the risk premium currently incorporated in crude prices, with disruptions to crucial trade routes being the most significant risk to global crude markets,” Intesa Sanpaolo analyst Daniela Corsini said.

Brent has slid to just below $65 a barrel this week, falling back to levels not seen since early March. It surged earlier this year to a near six-month peak of $75.60 in April, up about 50% from a near one-and-a-half year low hit in December.

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, tensions between the United States and Iran – also under tightened sanctions – and supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have all propped up prices.

However, any boost has been capped by higher output from the United States and concerns about the impact of the festering U.S.-China trade dispute on global growth and fuel demand.

“A prolonged trade conflict without parties being able to reach an agreement could weigh on global growth prospects, and thus put downward pressure on oil demand and prices,” said Adria Morron Salmeron, an economist at CaixaBank Research.

Analysts polled expect global oil demand to grow by around 1.2–1.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2019, compared with the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s forecast earlier this month of 1.38 mbpd.

They warned that oil prices are unlikely to rise to levels seen earlier this year, as any supply gap could be met by OPEC and abundant U.S. oil output.

OPEC and its allies including Russia are scheduled to meet on June 25-26, where analysts expect the producers to extend their pact on limiting output. Two OPEC sources said earlier this month the meeting could be postponed to July 3-4.

“We remain of the view that despite continued supply risks in countries like Iran, Libya and Venezuela, demand-risk will remain at the fore in 2019,” said Cailin Birch, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Given the current level of market supplies, strong U.S. production growth and concerns about flagging demand, we do not expect prices to show sustained growth in 2019 as a result of these tensions.”

U.S. light crude, meanwhile, is seen averaging $60.62 per barrel this year, compared with $60.23 forecast in April, according to the survey. WTI prices have averaged about $58 so far this year.

Edited by ceo_energemsier
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Iran warns any clash in the Gulf would push oil prices above $100

U.S. military vessels in the Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles, a top military aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, warning any clash between the two countries would push oil prices above $100 a barrel.

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting international sanctions.

Washington re-imposed sanctions last year and ratcheted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil. In recent weeks it has also hinted at military confrontation, saying it was sending extra forces to the Middle East to respond to an Iranian threat.

Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top military aide to Khamenei, said: “The Americans are fully aware that their military forces (in the region) are within the Iran’s missile range and all U.S. and foreigners’ navy in the Persian Gulf are within the range of land-to-sea missiles of the Revolutionary Guards.”

“The first bullet fired in the Persian Gulf will push oil prices above $100. This would be unbearable to America, Europe and the U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea,” Rahim Safavi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

U.S. President Donald Trump has condemned the nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile programme and role in conflicts around the Middle East.

Trump said last week he was hopeful Iran would come to negotiating table to reach a new deal.

Dismissing any negotiations with Washington on Iran’s missile programme, Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Baqeri was quoted as saying by Fars on Sunday: “Iranian nation with not retreat an iota from Iran’s defensive capabilities.”

President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday suggested Iran may be willing to hold talks if the United States showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into negotiations.
Source: Reuters

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The costs of buying crude oil from the Middle East could rise as war insurance for ships travelling in the region will be expanded to include vessels travelling off the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the head of Japan Petroleum Association said.

Japan is the world’s fourth-largest oil importer and imports 90% of its crude from the Middle East, government data showed.

Asian shippers and refiners had put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and were expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums following attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities earlier in May.

Takashi Tsukioka, president of the PAJ, told reporters at a briefing that they have been notified by U.K.’s Lloyds that the area of war insurance coverage will be expanded to include UAE’s Fujairah and the Gulf of Oman from May 31.

The war insurance rate will be notified later, and insurance for cargoes remain unchanged, he said.

“The cost to purchase oil from Middle East has not risen so much so far, but if there is any conflict, it will boost cost and affect safety of transportation,” Tsukioka said.
Source: Reuters

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