Pompeo ‘confident’ China trade talks will not be hurt over Iran oil sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves after a briefing on Iran at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 29 April 2019

Pompeo ‘confident’ China trade talks will not be hurt over Iran oil sanctions

  • Pompeo warned countries and companies that it would be a costly mistake to violate US sanctions by importing Iranian oil after Wednesday
  • China, India and Turkey are among Iran’s largest oil importers that were granted waivers from US sanctions

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed confidence that trade talks between the United States and China will not be affected by the end of Iran oil waivers this week.
Pompeo warned countries and companies that it would be a costly mistake to violate US sanctions by importing Iranian oil after Wednesday, when the waivers for eight importers end.
China, India and Turkey are among Iran’s largest oil importers that were granted waivers from US sanctions to allow them time to find alternative supplies.
“We have had lots of talks with China about this issue,” Pompeo said at a newsmaker event by The Hill news outlet. “I’m confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course.”
His comments come as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin heads to Beijing and said he hopes the two economic powerhouses can finalize a trade deal with two more rounds of talks left. .
Pompeo said the United States had worked to find alternative oil supplies to ensure the global oil market is well stocked as oil purchases from Iran are cut.
“We are convinced we can make sure the markets are adequately supplied. We are continuing to work on that,” he said.
“Companies that choose to violate the sanctions ... we will pursue and we will ensure they are held accountable for the violations they engage in,” he said.
Trump administration official said on Friday that neither a wind-down period nor a short-term waiver on China’s oil purchases are being considered.
Under US sanctions law, importers of Iranian oil including China, India and Turkey, could be allowed a wind-down period before getting to zero oil purchases, including a short-term waiver. Any wind-down measures would be different than the 180 day exceptions the Trump administration granted in November to China and seven other importers for significantly reducing oil purchases from Iran, measures set to end in May.
The United States reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after US President Donald Trump last spring unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.


Oil prices rise as faith in supply cuts grows

Updated 26 May 2020

Oil prices rise as faith in supply cuts grows

  • Producers are following through on commitments to cut supplies as fuel demand picks up with coronavirus restrictions easing
  • OPEC+ countries are due to meet again in early June to discuss maintaining their supply cuts to shore up prices

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by growing confidence that producers are following through on commitments to cut supplies and as fuel demand picks up with coronavirus restrictions easing.
Brent crude futures were up 45 cents, or 1.3%, at $35.98 a barrel by 1:09 p.m. EDT (1709 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 89 cents, or 2.7%, to $34.14.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading oil producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed last month to cut their combined output by almost 10 million barrels per day in May-June to shore up prices and demand, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is due to meet oil major producers on Tuesday to discuss the possible extension of the current level of cuts beyond June, sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.
The RIA news agency said Russian oil production volumes were near the country’s target of 8.5 million bpd for May and June.
On Monday, Russia’s energy ministry quoted Novak as saying that a rise in fuel demand should help to cut a global surplus of about 7 million to 12 million bpd by June or July.
OPEC+ countries are due to meet again in early June to discuss maintaining their supply cuts to shore up prices, which are still down about 45% since the start of the year.
“The 16 million bpd oversupply in crude during April could be reversed altogether by June, helped by a 4 million-bpd recovery in crude demand and a 12 million-bpd cut in crude supply,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets for Rystad Energy.
“OPEC+ is pulling the most weight by far, effectively reducing supply by nearly 9 million bpd while non-OPEC+ crude supply is down by more than 3.5 million bpd from March levels.”
In an indication of lower supply in the future, data from energy services business Baker Hughes showed that the US rig count hit a record low of 318 last week.