U.S. could issue waivers for Iran crude; oil prices dip Monday

Oil prices were down Monday morning on reports that the United States could issue waivers for countries to continue importing Iranian crude.

Crude oil prices fell slightly Monday on the news that the U.S. could grant waivers for Iranian crude while sanctions are implemented. Photo by William Stevens/U.S. Navy | License Photo
Crude oil prices fell slightly Monday on the news that the U.S. could grant waivers for Iranian crude while sanctions are implemented. Photo by William Stevens/U.S. Navy | License Photo

Brent prices were down more than 50 cents in mid-day trading, trading at $83.60 a barrel while WTI held steady at $74.02, down 32 cents.
This comes amid reports that the Trump administration will not completely cut off Iranian oil exports on Nov. 4 — there will be a transition period.

“The U.S. appears to be abandoning its tough stance on buyers of Iranian oil,” analysts at Commerzbank said. “It appears that consumer countries are to be given more time, after all, to replace their oil shipments from Iran so long as they at least reduce them.”

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President Donald Trump has said the Iran oil sanctions are meant to isolate the regime in that country and force them to negotiate a new nuclear deal. The sanctions could cut off 1 million barrels a day of Iran’s crude oil.

That’s prompted concerns about where the world will get its oil, which has pushed Brent prices as high as $86 a barrel, the highest since 2014. Overall, Brent prices are up 10 percent since September.

The softer stance on Iran plus news that Saudi Arabia and Russia could ramp up oil production to compensate for the sanctions has lowered oil prices slightly.

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The selloff is “understandable as perceived extra supply provides a good excuse to take profit after a strong rally,” Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

National gas prices were up three cents Monday to $2.91 a gallon and all but seven states are paying more for gasoline this week. Prices are up six cents more than a month ago and 41 cents more than this time last year.

Meanwhile, car manufacturers are planning to {link: “https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-03/oil-s-march-toward-100-is-just-what-electric-car-makers-need”,nm} release new electric vehicles in the next few years worldwide.

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“The higher the price of oil, the more tailwind we’re going to have behind electric cars,” Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co.

Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Skoda are all set to release new electric vehicles in the next two or three years.

Worldwide, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sales were up 77 percent year-on-year in the second quarter.

“We’re already seeing demand outstripping supply,” said Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, a British car-leasing company. “EVs are coming quicker than most people think.”

ByNicholas Sakelaris