Friday, April 10, 2015

Are Iran's Crude Supply Fears Overblown?

This article was first published by Seeking Alpha on April 8, 2015.

By Sarfaraz A. Khan

On the first day of the second quarter, the benchmark WTI prices posted the biggest gain in more than two months as traders weighed the possibility of peaking U.S. production, thanks to some positive indicators. The rally continued in the subsequent days as prices rose above $53 a barrel on Tuesday, but dropped to $52 a barrel in the early hours of Wednesday. All the while, the market has been trying to figure out how the biggest geopolitical wild card, the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, which includes Germany and five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, will impact the commodity's prices.

The increase in prices in the beginning of this month came on the back of the first drop in U.S. oil production growth since January as output dropped by 0.4% from the previous week and better-than-expected oil demand from a number of major consumers. The recently released strong U.S. jobs data that showed a surge in U.S. job openings to their highest levels in 14 years and the latest EIA monthly report in which the agency raised its forecast for oil demand while lowering expectations of U.S. oil production growth also supported the bullish sentiments.

On Wednesday, however, the prices dropped following, among other things, EIA's report that predicted a significant inflow of the "volume of Iranian barrels" into the market if the U.S. and its partners lift the sanctions against the country's crude. This could worsen the market's …. read full article at Seeking Alpha