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Oil Should Stay In Triple Digits: Analyst

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Oil Prices To End The Week Lower As Hopes Of An Iran Deal Rise

  • Oil prices are set for their first weekly decline in nine weeks, although the uncertainty surrounding Russia and Ukraine could change that.
  • A combination of Russia claiming it would pull troops from the Ukrainian border and rumors of an Iran nuclear deal dragged prices down.
  • The Iran nuclear deal negotiations appear to be on the brink of a breakthrough, with a large portion of the draft deal complete

Oil prices were down early on Friday, headed for their first weekly decline in nine weeks, as reports intensify that an Iranian nuclear deal could be closer than ever.

As of 9:55 a.m. EST, the U.S. benchmark, WTI Crude, had fallen to below $90 a barrel, and traded at $89.85, down by 2.09%.

Early this week, WTI Crude hit $95 per barrel, and Brent Crude touched $96 on Monday amid market fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of disruption of Russian energy supplies to Europe. On Friday at 9:55 a.m., Brent Crude was down 1.76% at $91.33.

On Tuesday, oil prices tanked after Russia said some of its troops were returning to bases after finishing drills, but NATO and the United States later said they have not seen troops pulling from the Ukrainian border. Despite the reports of a broken ceasefire with both sides trading accusations, oil moved lower on Thursday and early on Friday on the prospect that an Iranian deal could be imminent.

Iran’s main negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, tweeted late on Wednesday:

“After weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though. Our negotiating partners need to be realistic, avoid intransigence and heed lessons of past 4yrs. Time for their serious decisions.”

In case a deal is reached—and the U.S. has said that the window of reaching an agreement is closing fast—Iran could return some 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to the market within several months after the U.S. lifts sanctions on its oil exports.

According to diplomats who spoke to Reuters on Thursday, a draft of an agreement being discussed would put the main sanction-lifting stage, including oil exports, at a later stage while releasing Western prisoners held in Iran and unfreezing Iranian funds would come first. 

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is still a factor—a bullish one—for the oil market, but the bearish prospect of a return of Iranian oil exports took over market sentiment this week, alongside a general risk-off sentiment on markets.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 18 2022 said:
    Crude oil prices may dip a bit every now and then but their trajectory is definitely upward. A $100 oil is now looking a real possibility in the first half of this year. Moreover, this has less to do with an Iran nuclear deal and far more to do with profit-taking.

    I am on record having been saying since the nuclear negotiations with Iran started in Vienna that a lifting of US sanctions will never see the light of day soon or ever because the positions of the United States and Iran are irreconcilable.

    Moreover the impact of Iran on crude oil prices whether under sanctions or out of sanctions will be hardly noticeable. The reason is that Iran’s pre-sanctions and post-sanctions crude exports were estimated at 2.125 million barrels a day (mbd) and 1.5 mbd respectively. The difference is hardly an earth-shaking one to have a noticeable impact on oil prices particularly with the global oil demand at its most bullish state since 2014.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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