Crude oil futures record monthly gain in August

Chart showing historical Iraq and Iran oil production

OPEC August oil output tops 2018 high: Poll

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his country will continue exporting crude oil despite US efforts to stop it through sanctions.

Brent crude futures were lower on Tuesday afternoon in Asia, trading down 0.10 percent to $78.07 per barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures spiked to a new high for the year after a developing hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico caused the evacuation of two Gulf of Mexico oil platforms, disrupting supply operations.

Concerns for a global supply crunch have marked trading sentiment in the month.

Saudi Arabia produced almost 140,000 barrels more in August from a month earlier, two delegates from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said last week.

Crude oil has been quite volatile in the past few months ever since the United States announced plans to impose sanctions upon Iran, which has triggered supply concerns.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at brokerage OANDA, said Brent was "supported by the notion that US sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports will eventually lead to constricted markets".

Public discontent and calls for regime change continue, as protests rock the country, putting pressure on President Hassan Rohani's government.

"This is because of the USA dollar's strength, weighing heavily on emerging market currencies, including the yuan, which in turn has pushed up the costs of all dollar-denominated commodities", he said.

In April this year, Austria's OMV entered the 40-year concession with a 20-percent stake for US$1.5 billion.

Global oil markets have tightened over the last month, pushing up Brent prices by more than 10% since the middle of August.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Monday it had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired at the southern Saudi city of Jizan by the Iranian-aligned Houthis, who said separately they were targeting a Saudi Aramco facility. In fact, the U.S. has increased oil production by 30% since the middle of 2016 to its current rate of 11 million barrels of oil per day.

The world's top oil buyers are discovering that United States sanctions on Iran will squeeze their trade flows whether they agree with America or not.

"The oil market is expected to trade within the current range". Tom Kloza, the co-founder of the Oil Price Information Service, told CNBC earlier this month that WTI prices could even surpass $100 per barrel in the coming months.

Latest News