May, Trump plan talks over Iran sanctions

WTI oil reaches highest since 2014 on Iran worries

Iran produces about 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd) and the country is OPEC's third-biggest producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The 2015 nuclear deal revoking the sanctions was silent about the development of the ballistic missile program, and has a sunset clause permitting Iran to develop nuclear technologies after 2025. They have extended the pact until December 2018, and meet in June to review policy.

Higher prices spell cheer for oil producers like OIL India and ONGC by way of better realisations.

Iran's top three rivals say its development of more powerful, longer-range ballistic missiles and its backing of majority-Shiite Muslim groups overseas are destabilizing to the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is now battling an insurgent Yemeni Zaidi Shiite Muslim group-also known as the Houthis or Ansar Allah-who occasionally targets Riyadh with missiles that Saudi Arabia claims are Iranian in origin. While it's still uncertain how much he intends to curtail Iranian oil shipments, most analysts predict a cutback. Other nations that do business with Iran also could face USA sanctions. “It's no longer about extending the production cuts, but rather about when to start raising output gradually.”.

Among the penalties will be sanctions on transactions with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Iran's port operators, according to a Treasury Department document accompanying Trump's announcement.

US pressure to decrease Iranian oil purchases puts South Korea in an especially tricky position while it is trying to convey to North Korea that it is serious about committing to a denuclearization deal.

Zanganeh said Iran's crude production was about four million barrels per day (bpd), nearly four percent of global output.

Oil prices slipped in Asia yesterday morning from three-and-a-half-year highs as investors cautiously await Donald Trump's Iran nuclear decision later in the day.

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The country has been leading efforts since 2017 to withhold production to prop up prices. "They agreed for talks to take place between our teams".

To be sure, greater Saudi assertiveness does not mean that the kingdom does not have to tread carefully in potentially seeking to penalize China and others for their potential refusal to go along with Trump's confronting of Iran. Kuwait later gave a similar assurance.

The proposed sanctions, which are not yet in place, would impact Iranian oil, and oil companies are now searching for other sources.

Boosting output to compensate for Iran and reining in rising prices would prevent damage to the global economy, and fuel demand.

Gasoline prices in the U.S. have already surged to $3 per gallon on an average which is the highest since 2014 and has increased by $2.50 since 2017.

There are risks too. With higher supplies from alternative suppliers, crude prices are likely to normalise.

“OPEC has to engage in some balancing acts, ” said Bassam Fattouh, director at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. "This includes actions under both our primary and secondary sanctions authorities", Mnuchin added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is in the midst of an oil supply-cutting deal with non-OPEC producers such as Russian Federation that has helped erase a global glut and boosted oil prices above $75, the highest since 2014.

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