Saudi Arabia can not replace Iran's oil in market: minister


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India's oil importers plan limited purchases of Iranian crude in November, a U-turn that will help alleviate the financial pain of a new policy requiring refiners to subsidise fuel prices, according to people familiar with the matter.

Exports of Iran's ultra-light crude, known as condensate, have fallen by 46 per cent in comparison with the period March to September a year ago, ISNA reported on Sunday. Brent, the worldwide benchmark, is now trading around $85 a barrel. For 2018/19, the real economic growth was expected to moderate, but still, the International Monetary Fund expected Iran's economy to grow by 4 percent in 2018/19, forecasting stable oil production in line with the OPEC cap on Iran's production. Saudi Arabia is now pumping about 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd) and can add a further 1.3 million "if the market needs that", he said.

Vitol presented the most bearish views, with its chairman, Ian Taylor, forecasting a price of $65 a barrel.

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A release of USA strategic oil stocks to ease the loss of Iranian supplies looked remote and would have limited impact anyway, and a plan by European nations aimed at maintaining trade with Iran was unlikely to help, he added. "We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else".

The report of just a small crude build eased fears that had pressured oil prices after US government data on Wednesday showed a large build in the USA commercial crude stockpile. Helima Croft, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst who is now head of commodities research at RBC, said plummeting production in Venezuela and Angola leaves little room to balance other supply risks in Libya, Nigeria and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed allegations it played a role in Khashoggi's disappearance as "baseless", but it has offered no evidence to support its contention he left the consulate unharmed last week and vanished into Istanbul while his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, waited outside. Investors remain concerned the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies aren't raising output quickly enough and that they may not have the capacity to fully cover disappearing volumes. The bulk of spare capacity is held by Saudi Arabia.

Oil prices are up 15-20 since mid-August, at their highest levels since late 2014. "We continue to have conversations with the government of Iraq about that particular issue and the implications for the reimposition of sanctions that were previously lifted or even waived under the JCPOA", Nauert said. "We want to get to the bottom of it".

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That strategy may have encouraged member countries to increase production in the past, Croft said, but will likely become less effective as the global oil cushion shrinks. Some of these sources say output fell further in September.

Traders said that ongoing worries that the US-Chinese trade war could slow down economic growth also dragged down on crude on Monday.

The kingdom did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

"China's still scrambling to buy oil, and any dip in crude prices" will encourage Chinese buyers, said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. It is now projecting that global growth will average 3.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, down from a projection of 3.9 percent this spring. Turkish officials have said that they fear the team killed him.

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"We've knocked down our demand growth forecast this year and for next year".