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The United States is warning other countries not to allow Iranian oil tankers into their territorial waters or ports, saying such access may run afoul of USA sanctions and not only incur penalties, but also result in catastrophic economic and environmental damage should an accident occur.
Trump has been gradually re-imposing United States sanctions on Iran, now focused on the oil, shipping and banking industries, after pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal earlier this year. "Six months from now, the US will be producing more crude oil than the unverified sustainable production capacity of Saudi Arabia".
Italy and Turkey have been importing around 200,000 bpd of oil from Iran over the past two years, with Greece importing less than 100,000 bpd.
India, he said, was happy that Washington has taken in to account India's need for energy security and understood New Delhi's sensitivities on this matter.
Production has not just risen in the United States, but also in many other countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Brazil, stoking producer concerns of a return of oversupply that depressed oil prices between 2014 and 2017. "Refining margins contracted across all regions, with gasoline cracks now near or below zero in all regions", United States investment bank Jefferies said in a note on Friday.
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"As OPEC exports continue to rise, inventories continue to build which is putting downward pressure on oil prices", analysts at Bernstein Energy said.
Iran's exports peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, including 300,000 bpd of condensate, a lighter form of oil.
The Americans have shown this year that they are capable of ramping up production by more than the Saudis can cut it. "I see them diversifying towards other markets, for instance, the Saudi one, now under pressure to increase its oil output". In addition, having initially talked of choking off Iranian shipments to zero, the U.S. waiver decision is expected to limit the fall in Iran's exports.
Iranian state TV quoted the minster, Bijan Zanganeh, as saying he sees the months ahead as "painful months for oil consumers". He added that the ultimate aim was to halt Iranian exports entirely.
He said the government of India has seen the U.S. notification including India in the list of countries granted Significant Reduction Exemption for continued purchase of Iranian crude oil without attracting USA sanctions.
Japan, another key Asian U.S. ally, also ceased Iranian oil imports prior to the sanctions, but has received a waiver to import an undisclosed amount of oil from Iran in the next 180 days. Iran regularly shipped "millions of barrels of crude" to Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he said.