India circumventing U.S. oil sanctions on Iran

By Santosh Kumar, Debjit Chakraborty and Pradipta Mukherjee on 12/19/2018

NEW DELHI and KOLKATA (Bloomberg) — India will use escrow accounts of five Iranian banks held with UCO Bank to deposit money for oil purchases from the Middle East producer to overcome U.S. sanctions, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

Iran will use part of the deposits for purchasing essential goods from India and to meet expenditure incurred by its diplomatic missions in the South Asian nation, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. All spending will be in Indian rupees.

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Saudi Arabia juggles Iran and U.S. shale to deliver OPEC deal

By Javier Blas and Jack Farchy on 12/9/2018

LONDON (Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia’s energy minister emerged from days of heated OPEC talks joking that he wasn’t an easy man to be friends with.

Yet, the deal Khalid Al-Falih hammered out to reduce production by 1.2 MMbopd, which sent oil prices soaring on Friday, was based on Saudi Arabia shouldering the lion’s share of the cuts. It also relied, to an unprecedented extent, on Russia to broker an agreement between the Saudis and their arch-rivals, Iran, and acknowledged implicitly that there’s little the kingdom could do to hurt surging U.S. oil shale without causing itself pain.

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OPEC+ recommends oil cuts, but no deal yet on size of curbs

By Annmarie Hordern, Grant Smith and Javier Blas on 12/5/2018

LONDON (Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of the OPEC+ group recommended an oil production cut, defying a Twitter plea from President Donald Trump to keep the taps open, but their meeting didn’t agree on how big any reduction should be.

The group secured the participation of Russia for six months of output curbs starting in January, Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammed Al Rumhy told reporters in Vienna as he left the meeting on Wednesday.

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Iran oil waivers: How buyers are lining up after U.S. exemptions

By Heesu Lee, Sharon Cho and Tsuyoshi Inajima on 11/23/2018

SEOUL, SINGAPORE TOKYO (Bloomberg) — Armed with waivers to keep importing Iranian oil without running afoul of U.S. sanctions, some of the Islamic Republic’s top customers are preparing to buy.

The exemptions mean at least some supplies from OPEC’s third-biggest producer will keep flowing into international markets, after its exports plunged almost 40% since April — the month before Washington announced the curbs. In a bid to keep customers, the state-run National Iranian Oil Co. has been offering record discounts on its crude.

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Oil’s rapid run of declines kicks up pressure as OPEC gathers

By Jessica Summers on 11/9/2018

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Photo: OPEC flag.

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — It’s all eyes on OPEC as U.S. oil prices fell for 10 consecutive days, wiping out any gains for the year.

Futures in New York slid 0.8% to settle at $60.19/bbl on Friday, a day after falling into a bear market on concerns growing supplies will overwhelm the market, as the U.S. offered nations waivers to continue buying Iranian oil. The plunge will push OPEC and its allies into a corner as they gather in a highly-anticipated meeting this weekend that could yield a signal on future production cuts.

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Amid Iranian oil waiver, U.S. – China talks divided before Trump-Xi meeting

By nick wadhams on 11/9/2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bloomberg) — The U.S. secretaries of state and defense met with their Chinese counterparts for an annual strategy session in Washington on Friday, with both sides highlighting deep differences on diplomacy and security weeks before Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping plan to meet at a summit in Argentina.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said at a joint press conference at the State Department that he’d been “forthright in addressing significant differences between our nations,” while also emphasizing that cooperation between the world’s two biggest economies remains essential. China is reportedly one of eight nations recently granted a waiver to continue importing Iranian oil.

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