Return to oil production cuts in 2019 can not be ruled out - OPEC

Return to oil production cuts in 2019 can not be ruled out - OPEC

Yet, much of Iran's oil exports are "still unsustainable", says Goldman's Hinds. Just $5 a month.

The new round of USA sanctions, which had been lifted under a multilateral 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, came back into force on November 5, drawing criticisms from the United Nations as well as Washington's allies in the European Union.

A close US ally, South Korea had stopped buying crude from Iran ahead of the sanctions while still lobbying for exemptions. To defy the United States sanctions and preserve its strategic autonomy would require a break from this strategic alliance - something which the Modi regime can not even contemplate. That initially helped keep crude oil prices at multiyear highs, but as Washington granted waivers to the biggest buyers including China, India, and South Korea, investors turned sour on light and sweet.

USA bank J.P. Morgan said "part of the recent sell-off in oil was due to excessive crude in the physical markets.from elevated production from OPEC whilst Iranian supply was still in the market despite reduction in reported exports". Washington also threatened secondary sanctions on nations and corporations that continue to do business with Tehran.

US gasoline futures are also trading in bear market territory, down almost 28 percent from their 52-week high.

That would be about half the daily average China has been importing from Iran since January 2016, trade data showed. If confirmed during revisions, it would more firmly establish the United States as the world's top oil producer.

The move by the Donald Trump administration is considered as an endorsement by Washington of India's major role in the development of the port on the Gulf of Oman, which is of huge strategic importance for the reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan.

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India has seen Chabahar as a key way both to send supplies to Afghanistan and to step up trade with Central Asia as well as Africa.

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But because sanctions restrict Iran's access to the U.S. financial system, the country is unlikely to receive direct income and instead used to trade non-sanctioned goods.

Hook explained that entities allowing self-insured Iranian tankers to transit through their canals or dock in their ports may be facilitating Iran's illicit activity.

The exemption for Chabahar comes as good news for India and Afghanistan, but undercuts the Trump administration's portrayal of the sanctions as the "toughest ever".

On Monday, the United States imposed "the toughest ever" sanctions on Tehran aimed at altering the Iranian regime's "behaviour".

"The Iranian regime has a choice". At first glance, this would seem improbable, given the way the government is trying to project the temporary waiver from sanctions given to India and seven other countries.

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