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Iran’s Oil Comeback Might Be A Question Of ‘When’, Not ‘If’

By Investing.com (Barani Krishnan/Investing.com)CommoditiesJul 19, 2019 03:56AM ET
www.investing.com/analysis/irans-oil-coming-back-the-question-might-be-when-not-if-200441812
Iran’s Oil Comeback Might Be A Question Of ‘When’, Not ‘If’
By Investing.com (Barani Krishnan/Investing.com)   |  Jul 19, 2019 03:56AM ET
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Both have destroyed each other’s drones and seem ready for more conflict, even as they say they want talks. While few may want to give the U.S.-Iran style of gunboat diplomacy a chance, oil bulls should never be too complacent that there will be no breakthrough here—because in the off-chance there is one, another crude price collapse is very likely.

In his Thursday news conference at the Iranian mission to the United Nations, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif again suggested that U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions on Tehran’s oil and leaders be removed—via Congress to make it harder for them to be reimposed—and the two sides could talk.

The New York Times, musing on Zarif’s call, said it will almost certainly be rejected by the Trump administration. For there to be talks, there should be no preconditions, says Washington, which views Iran as increasingly desperate to free itself of the sanctions.

Zarif was coy on whether he will meet Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Trump’s self-appointed envoy for getting negotiations going on resolving the nuclear-sanctions crisis between the two states. All the Iranian foreign minister would say is that he’s “seeing people from Congress”.

Zarif also dismissed the notion that should the talks happen, they would turn out to be a world spectacle like the U.S.-North Korea summit, but featuring Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Trump this time. The foreign minister added that there was no need for a “photo-op” or “two-page document with a big signature”.

But beneath the grandstanding and continued offensives—a U.S. battle ship in the Strait of Hormuz destroyed an Iranian surveillance drone on Thursday, citing the familiar “defensive reasons” used by Tehran last month—there appears genuine desire on both sides to bring the more than year-long standoff to a close.

And that’s enough of a reason for oil bulls to be afraid. To be very afraid, actually.

Phil Flynn, senior market analyst for energy at the Price Futures Group brokerage in Chicago, devoted much of his Thursday morning column to the specter of what Iran’s oil could do to the market if it returned.

The avowed oil bull wrote:

“Oil traders know that this can be a game changer. The potential lifting of sanctions on Iranian oil could tip the balance of the market from being undersupplied to being oversupplied.”

“We know from past experience that when there are expectations of Iranian oil coming back to the market, it is very bearish.”

U.S. Could Meet Iran’s Demands Halfway

It’s unlikely that Trump would agree to set aside all the sanctions he’s built against Iran’s oil and leaders in order to bring Tehran to the negotiating table.

But it’s possible that he could meet Iran’s demands half-way by suspending his most objectionable economic actions and moves against the Islamic Republic for a specified period—say three months—to give the peace process a chance.

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WTI -Month Chart - Powered by TradingView

Investing.com’s projections are that the flat price of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude and London’s Brent oil will fall about $5 a barrel within a week or two of the announcement that the two sides are ready to talk. And every rebound thereafter will be checked by the possibility of an impending Iran Nuclear Accord 2.0.

Trump Has A Lot To Gain From Deal, Despite Its Difficulties

We reiterate that agreeing to talks with Iran makes total sense for Trump, who needs crude prices to fall in order to make the U.S. pump price of gasoline cheaper before his re-election bid in November 2020.

The president has said in the past that he wants OPEC to pump an additional 2 million barrels per day of oil to lower energy costs for U.S. consumers. Yet, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has gone the other way, tightening supply by 1.2 million barrels per day since December 2018, and wants to do the same now through March 2020.

Logic compels Trump to agree to a sit-down with the Iranians because that additional 2 million bpd he's seeking from OPEC is right there with Tehran. After the signing of its original 2015 nuclear accord with the Obama administration and other world powers, Tehran produced up to 2.5 million bpd at its peak.

Talks with Iran would instantly achieve two of Trump's immediate objectives: lower oil prices and a chance to reset yet another Obama-era "mistake".

Eventually, the president can gloat on how the "Trump Iran deal" is the better one for the world, versus Obama's original 2015 accord, which he had labeled as the "worst deal ever".

We don’t think we’ve heard the last on this yet.

Iran’s Oil Comeback Might Be A Question Of ‘When’, Not ‘If’
 
Iran’s Oil Comeback Might Be A Question Of ‘When’, Not ‘If’

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david thomas
david thomas Jul 20, 2019 5:16PM ET
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If Tehran wants to rid itself of Trump as well as other Countries who oppose his Presidency it would serve their interest to let oil hit 100 a barrel as nothing will loose an American President more votes than the voter who is paying $4 a gallon or more for gas at the pump.  He very well might make a deal very fast if he sees oil prices spiraling out of control but all Tehran does is guarantee Trump 4 more years with cheap Middle East Oil.
Barani Krishnan
Barani Krishnan Jul 20, 2019 5:16PM ET
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True, David. To some, it's the Devil's Alternative.
Adnan Koljindar
Adnan Koljindar Jul 19, 2019 11:23AM ET
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Don't be trigger happy. Just give piece chance.
inderjeet virk
inderjeet virk Jul 19, 2019 9:54AM ET
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usa  put sanction first and then use them as a bargain, that's why any talks with other parties are not going anywhere.
Mohsin Gee
Mohsin Gee Jul 19, 2019 9:31AM ET
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well dn
Barani Krishnan
Barani Krishnan Jul 19, 2019 9:31AM ET
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Thank you.
yaser rostami
yaser rostami Jul 19, 2019 8:21AM ET
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iran know what to do.usa know what to do .we have a problem for usa that is tromp take big stone :but tromp is small man and he ask his self what can I do with big stone and he is deaf for rational speech
sina seeker
sina seeker Jul 19, 2019 7:49AM ET
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usa hasenot destroyed Iranian's drone, Iran has deniad and US doesnot show prove
Dima Bedin
Dima Bedin Jul 19, 2019 4:50AM ET
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Good
 
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