India allows state refiners to use Iran tankers, insurance for oil imports

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USA oil prices headed higher on Tuesday after two oil platforms on the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated in advance of an expected hurricane.

If the US gains the cooperation of its allies to halt imports of Iranian oil, and bring its exports to zero, it will help the Iranian people see their ultimate goal of regime change.

Given that China and emerging markets more broadly are key demand growth areas for oil markets, analysts said crude prices had come under downward pressure.

According to Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific brokerage OANDA's head of trading, the Brent crude oil benchmark's price rise has been supported by the expectation that the upcoming USA sanctions are going to lead to constrained markets across the globe.

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"Currently, we are holding close and intensive talks with Europe over their promises to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers", Araqchi has said, according to the Iranian Fars news agency, reported by Azeri outlet Trend.

It was only about three months ago that India's foreign minister said that the country won't adhere to unilateral restrictions and will continue buying Iranian crude. In fact, the United States has increased oil production by 30% since the middle of 2016 to its current rate of 11 million barrels of oil per day.

From a broader perspective, the barrel of WTI remains underpinned by the supply disruption threats from Venezuelan falling output and additional U.S. sanctions on Iran.

"The prospects of increased supplies from OPEC and her allies, and weaker demand from China and other emerging markets could weigh further on oil prices going forward, or at least limit the upside potential", said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.

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For 2020, Barclays said it expects Brent to average $75 per barrel, up from its previous forecast of just $55 a barrel.

"U.S. producers are resisting temptation and exercising capital discipline, OPEC and Russian Federation have convinced market participants they are managing the supply of over half of global production, the U.S.is using sanctions more actively, and several key OPEC producers are at risk of being failed states", Barclays said.

Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at BNP Paribas, struck a similar tone, warning of "supply issues" into 2019. The first round began in early August, but in November, the most formidable sanction go into effect - those targeting Iran's oil exports and the banking sector.

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