Daily Management Review

Iran Supply Apprehensions and Weak Demand Forces Oil to Fall Below 12 Year Lows


Iran Supply Apprehensions and Weak Demand Forces Oil to Fall Below 12 Year Lows
With few signs of improving demand in a fragile global economy and on apprehensions of Iran unleashing its oil on an oversupplied market, oil prices steadied on Thursday, but remained near 12-year lows.
By mid day trading in the US, Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded at $30.53 a barrel, up 22 cents. Breaking the 14 year old mark, earlier it fell below the February 2004 mark and traded at $29.73 a barrel.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 52 cents at $31 a barrel.
"With no apparent signs of strengthening demand, and only further indicators of future global supply growth, the outlook for oil prices is leading most market watchers to ratchet down estimates for oil prices in 2016 and 2017," analysts at Cenkos Natural Resources wrote.
Paving the way for international sanctions on Iran to be lifted , the United Nations' nuclear watchdog is likely to confirm on Friday that Iran has curtailed its nuclear program as agreed with world powers.
The core of its Arak nuclear reactor had been removed, said Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation. In order to verify the move crucial to the implementation of the deal with world powers, U.N. inspectors are set to visit the site on Thursday.
The estimates that Iranian oil would reach the market were raised by Barclays after what it said was an unexpected early lifting of Western sanctions from Iran. After sanctions are lifted, Iran will produce almost 700,000 barrels a day more in the fourth quarter of 2016 than over the same period in 2015, analysts at the bank said they now assumed.
Within six months of sanctions being lifted, Iran had said its exports would rise by 1 million barrels a day.
"This could drive prices down further in the short term purely on the basis of the psychological effect," analysts at Commerzbank wrote.
The reported builds of 8.4 million barrels in gasoline and over 6 million in distillates, which include diesel and heating oil had over shadowed the data that showed that U.S. crude inventories had risen to 234,000 barrels last week, much less than expectations.
According to a report from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, as companies slash costs to survive the oil price crash, including $170 billion of projects planned between 2016 and 2020, oil and gas projects worth $380 billion have now been postponed or cancelled since 2014.
Norway said on Thursday it expected investments in its oil and gas sector to fall to 135 billion crowns ($15.3 billion) this year, from 150 billion crowns in 2015.