Crude oil is being driven by more plotlines than an afternoon soap opera. With upcoming sanctions on Iran, the Fed on pace for gradual interest rate increases, strikes in the North Sea and a big drop in the U.S. oil rig count (which fell by 9 rigs, the biggest drop since May of 201), there is enough drama for both the bulls and the bears.
Crude oil prices are trying to balance the risks to oil supply versus the risks to demand. The risk to the demand side of the equation is coming out of Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vowing not to be brought to its knees even as it is him that has driven the Turkish economy into freefall. The Turkish central bank says it will provide all the liquidity that the Turkish banks need. That brought the crashing Lira and stock market back a bit, but it is unclear whether that will provide lasting support.
Global stock markets are rattled as the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is running his economy into the ground, raising contagion fear surrounding other European nations. Initially, crude oil was following the stock markets down, but then turned positive on a report from the normally more bearish leaning International Energy Agency, which is warning that as oil sanctions against Iran take effect, perhaps in combination with production problems elsewhere, maintaining global supply might be very challenging and would come at the expense of maintaining an adequate spare capacity cushion.
Even in long-term bull markets, you are going to have a day like Wednesday. Crude oil and products crashed down to major support as it was hit with a confluence of headlines and bearish weekly Energy Information Administration data. Fears of the impact of sanctions on China, Iran, Russia and Turkey did not help and another big drop in U.S. gasoline demand has some worried that U.S. consumers were showing resistance to higher pump prices.
While the market starts to come to grips with the new sanctions on Iran and a larger than expected crude draw, as reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API), what should concern them is that U.S. crude oil production is not quite what it was fracked up to be.
Crude oil prices are on the rise as President Donald Trump warns the world that anyone trading with Iran will not be trading with the United States. That pronouncement is directed at the European Union, which issued a statement Monday in Brussels saying, "We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S., due to the latter's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Crude prices, which were on the rise on concerns of tightening supply and growing desperations that the loss of Iranian oil supplies would not be easily replaced, may have found a ray of hope. Present Donald Trump said in a press conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that he would be willing to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani any time "whenever they want” and without preconditions, raising hopes that perhaps an Iranian crude oil embargo might be avoided.
Crude oil prices are on a wild ride. Oil prices rallied as hot rhetoric between the United States and Iran heated up. They sold off on data from Genscape that showed an 83,106 barrel increase in supply in Cushing, Okla., since Tuesday, and after reports of the return of some Libyan oil. Reports show that Waha oil production in Libya rose to 130,000 barrels a day from 100,000 barrels a day last week, as loading resumed at Es Sider port, according to Bloomberg.
The rhetoric is running high as President Donald Trump continues his hard line on Iran. It seems that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took exception to that fact that the Trump Administration wants to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. Rouhani said that “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars. You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests.”