Oil Prices Reach Highest Level Since 2014

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Instead, it will re-impose sanctions on Tehran, keeping global oil markets on edge.

Although the US doesn't get oil directly from Iran, sanctions impact other industries like banks, shipping companies, refiners and insurance companies and that impacts oil prices around the globe.

Iran ramped up its oil production by 1 million barrels per day after sanctions were lifted in early 2016.

US oil production is up about 13 percent from a year ago, but demand has been strong too.

But Mr Manoon said the price level may not return to above $100 per barrel like it was from 2009-2014, because USA crude oil output has been increasing annually, with the country poised to become the world's largest oil producer this year. Hours before Trump's announcement, federal government forecasters raised their estimate for 2018 oil prices by 10.5% to an average of $65.58 a barrel. Nigerian exports, which have risen this year, slipped in April.

Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo, noted that technology shares have been moving higher, taking up a larger share of indices as more money flows into the exchange trade funds (ETF) market.

No one knows exactly how high prices will go.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia indicated it was ready to act.

Oxford Economics finds that the most severe effect from an oil-price shock would be suffered by large emerging markets like China, India, Indonesia and Turkey.

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Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to lessen the impact of any shortage in oil supplies. Iranian officials, however, said that the country's oil industry would continue to develop even if the United States pulls out of the accord. Heightened geopolitical fears in the Middle East often raise prices.

Tamas Varga, lead analyst at brokerage firm PVM Oil Associates, predicted "panic buying" that will briefly lift benchmark USA oil prices to $75 a barrel if Trump snaps sanctions back on Iran. Total volume traded was about 29% above the 100-day average. "Iran's oil exports could credibly be curtailed by 200,000-300,000 bpd".

This week is shaping up to be a pivotal one for the oil market, with the potential for renewed sanctions on Iran. But it's the Iran question that's driving short-term trading, experts say.

"Short of war, the only way Iran's crude sales could be disrupted is if European and certain Asian buyers revert back to their pre-2015 embargo policy - and there is virtually zero chance of that", Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said in email.

The resumption of what Trump called the "highest level of economic sanctions" against Iran will take place over the next several months.

Even though some of the decline was due to unintended problems, the reality is that the market badly misjudged OPEC's resolve to erase the world of the oil glut.

The Islamic Republic had provided 90 days of credit for crude purchases, at least thrice the amount of time given by other producers, and flexibility with grades offered and loading dates to some refiners when it was last under sanctions. That said, the sell off in oil could just be a sign of a spoked market that was caught off guard, longer than it intends to be with such a big risk event suddenly upon it.

Another factor that could keep oil prices in check, particularly in the USA, is the higher domestic shale production, predicted by the Energy Information Administration to reach close to 11 million barrels a day in the month of May.

"Overall, Iran's production could be significantly curtailed if the Iran deal collapses, but not as much as it was with previous sanctions", it said.

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