The world has enough oil supply to cover any fall in crude exports from Iran ahead of Western sanctions that will start later this month, Algerian Oil Minister Youcef Yousfi said yesterday.
Yousfi’s comments about fellow OPEC member Iran come ahead a meeting of the producer group next week, and as other members of the group step up production to cover for a potential shortfall in Iranian crude exports.
“Yes, there is enough oil in the market,” the minister said when asked whether there is enough crude to offset the impact of Western sanctions on Iranian exports. Saudi Arabia has boosted output to the highest level in decades, with total OPEC oil output in May at its highest since 2008. Benchmark Brent crude traded just above $100 yesterday, down from a high of over $128 in March, making alternatives cheaper for Iran’s big oil buyers in Asia and elsewhere.
Yousfi also said that Algeria plans to boost liquefied natural gas exports to 40 billion cubic meters (bcm) in two to three years, up from 27 bcm currently. The country is building two new LNG plants with a total capacity of 11-12 million tons per year (tpy) which will start operating in the next 1-2 years, he said. The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a government official said yesterday. Not all of Iran’s oil buyers are likely to get the waivers, said the source, who declined to elaborate. Around two thirds of Iran’s crude exports flow to Asia. -Arabnews