Iranian crude buyers brace for prospect of new US sanctions

The latest deterioration of US-Iran relations, prompted by US President Donald Trump’s policy shift towards the country since taking office, is likely to impact the global oil market, including supply to Greece, as the possible cancellation of a bilateral nuclear agreement between the two countries, which would lead to new US trade sanctions against Iran, cannot be dismissed.

A previous embargo imposed on the country had disrupted Iranian ol exports, forcing long-time buyers, including ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), to turn elsewhere for supply.

The establishment of a nuclear agreement in 2016 enabled Iran to resume its oil exports. At present, these cover approximately 25 percent of ELPE’s needs.

According to Platts, the energy and commodities information provider, numerous Asian buyers of Iranian crude are preparing for the prospect of a new embargo. Some of these countries are believed to be looking at solutions that would restrict oil imports.

The pressure now being felt by buyers as a result of the unstable climate could prompt them to seek improved supply deals, sector pundits believe.

The US president is expected to discuss issues concerning Iran next week.

New trade sanctions on the country would be embraced by OPEC members as the resulting global oil supply reduction would raise international oil prices and, as a result, enable the cartel to relax or even end an agreement between its members to cut back on output.