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Are U.S. Sanctions Killing Crude?

The biggest market disappointment this week is yet another false start for Saudi Aramco, and we’re not sure how many more the market will tolerate. Yesterday morning, Riyadh was all set to go ahead with the IPO. By the end of the day, the plug was pulled once again, with delays set to run into weeks and months as Aramco belatedly decided to further examine vulnerabilities in the wake of the September 14 attack on its facilities. This will be a further negative mark on MBS’ reputation. The delay will drag on until Aramco releases its Q3 results, which it’s hoping will give a favorable bump to its valuation. The problem is, no one knows when that will be. In the meantime, weighing on oil prices is China's economic growth - a determining factor in oil prices due to China's healthy appetite for importing crude oil - which slowed to 6% year over year for Q3. This is its weakest quarter in over 25 years and below what was expected.

How US Sanctions Can Kill US Crude

US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela were designed to force Iran to fall in line over the nuclear deal and for the Maduro regime to, well, collapse. Neither has happened. What has happened is record-low production for Venezuela and curbed oil export profits for Iran. But the sanctions seem to be hurting the oil industry more than anyone, starting in Asia and trickling all the way back to the US shale patch.

As sanctions begin to spill over into oil tankers, Asia is finding it hard to…



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