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Iran Sanctions Overwhelm Oil Markets

Pipeline

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Crude rose to a 4-year high this week as fears of falling Iranian demand took center stage. Despite a significant buildup in U.S. crude stockpiles, the largest since March 2017, Brent December futures broke the $86 per barrel mark whilst WTI surpassed $76.

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Were it not for Iran’s faltering exports, crude prices would likely have gone down. U.S. commercial crude stocks increased a hefty 8 million barrels while U.S. crude exports plummeted 910 000 bpd week-on-week to 1.7 mbpd, a result of highly volatile loading schedules (the average September 2018 U.S. export figure stands at 2.1 mbpd). The WTI-Brent Dated spread reached $10 per barrel by the end of the week, a major buttress to potential U.S. exports. Crude imports to the United States increased by 163 kbpd week-on-week. Gasoline and distillate stocks dropped by 0.5 million barrels and 1.8 million barrels, respectively, even though refinery runs have begun to level off ahead of maintenance-heavy October and November.

1. China increases non-state refiners’ import quota

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- The Chinese Commerce Ministry has granted non-state independent refiners an annual 202 million ton (4.06 mbpd) quota…

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