India allows state refiners to use Iran tankers, insurance for oil imports

Crude Oil Market Focuses On Supply Risk Not Trump Threats As Oil Sees Monthly Gain

Oil prices fell on Thursday as emerging market woes weighed on sentiment, while a deadline neared for a potential new round of USA tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods.

US oil prices headed higher on Tuesday after two oil platforms on the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated in advance of an expected hurricane.

At 10:30 am Singapore time (0230 GMT), ICE November Brent crude futures were down a marginal 3 cents/b (0.04%) from Monday's settle at $78.12/b, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude contract was 26 cents/b (0.37%) higher than Friday's settle at $70.06/b.

Oil prices were also under pressure as worldwide shippers stopped loading Iranian oil in preparation for US sanctions against Iran. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Labor Day.

In 2017, 56 percent of China's crude oil imports came from countries within OPEC, a decline from a peak of 67 percent in 2012 but still making it a significant market for OPEC and its Middle East members.

WTI is now trading at $70.6 per barrel, and Brent is trading at $8.2 per barrel premium to WTI.

Prices had jumped the previous day as dozens of USA oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were shut in anticipation of damage from tropical storm Gordon.




Crude oil prices steadied Monday, weighed down by rising supply from OPEC and the US, but supported by concerns falling Iranian output will tighten markets once USA sanctions begin in November. "If there is a serious trade disagreement between the US and China, the Chinese consumption of energy will be impacted negatively, from our point of view and the ability to produce and export will be impacted", he said at the World Heavy Oil Congress.

The attempt to keep Iranian oil flowing mirrors a step by China, where buyers are shifting almost all their Iranian oil imports to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), reported news agency Reuters quoting sources. Investors anticipate less supply from Iran as United States sanctions on Tehran begin to bite.

In fact, Russian Federation surpassed Saudi Arabia as China's largest source of foreign crude oil in 2016, exporting 1.2 million b/d to China in 2017 compared with Saudi Arabia's 1.0 million b/d.

Even though there are risks, there are always geopolitical risks in oil so it's a matter of managing risk.

French bank BNP Paribas struck a similar tone, warning of "supply issues" for the rest of the year and into 2019. The moves by the two top buyers of Iranian crude indicate that the Islamic Republic may not be fully cut off from global oil markets from November, when USA sanctions against Tehran's petroleum sector are due to start.

The average retail price for a liter of regular has been above ¥150 since late May.

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