U.S. and Saudi Arabia to level up world oil prices?
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed to counter Iran's attempts to "destabilize" the global oil market.
Perhaps, it was caused by the fact that China and other countries are still receiving oil shipments from a larger number of Iranian tankers despite the possible U.S. sanctions.
The movements of more than 70 Iranian tankers were examined since May 2, when the U.S. sanctions took full effect, and it turns out that 12 of the tankers loaded oil after May 2 and delivered it to China or the Eastern Mediterranean, where the buyers may have included Syria or Turkey. Only some of those 12 tankers were previously known to have recently delivered Iranian oil.
The continued flow of oil underscores the difficulty the Trump administration has had in using sanctions to bring Iranian oil exports to zero after breaking with allies and partners on Iran policy.
A leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Igor Yushkov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia proceed from the assumption that Iran is destabilizing the Strait of Hormuz.
"This is a rather controversial statement, because there is still no understanding who attacked these tankers in May and June, or whether these attacks took place at all. But at the same time, the U.S. and their allies are confident that it was Iran. Perhaps some of the regional powers staged this provocation, and Iran has nothing to do with it. It's beneficial for the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, because it is important for Americans to catch illegal oil tankers send by Iran," the expert noted.
According to him, most likely, the United States will want to expand its fleet in the Strait of Hormuz, in the Persian Gulf in particular. "In essence, it's a naval blockade of Iran. And the United States is likely to tighten control over the implementation of sanctions. So far, only China is the largest buyer of Iranian oil. Some shipments go to Turkey and a number of other countries. And the United States is trying hard to stop it," the leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University explained.
In addition, he drew attention to the fact that if the conflict in the Strait of Hormuz escalates, oil prices will go up. "Now traders are used to such news, so oil prices are kept at the current level," Igor Yushkov concluded.
The executive vice-president of NewTech Services, professor of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Valery Bessel, in turn, suggested that news of an agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia is a hoax.
“According to the World Bank, there are three major world economic centers - China, the European Union and the United States. But if the U.S. is self-sufficient in terms of providing itself with energy resources, then China and the European Union have almost no energy resources. There are also three world centers, which can supply them with energy resources - Russia, Shiite Iran and other Gulf states, Sunni countries, including Saudi Arabia," the expert explained.
"As for the Gulf countries, Iran and the situation around this country affect everything related to the destabilization of oil production and transportation there. Because almost all countries, except Oman, must transport their hydrocarbons, LNG and oil by tankers through the Strait of Hormuz. But Iran can easily block the Strait of Hormuz. And the fact that such a statement has been made now is just a political attempt to show that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are united in their desire to maintain a certain stability in the region," the executive vice-president of NewTech Services said.
In addition, he noted that all countries will try to maintain stability in the Gulf region. "Because if something happens there and the Strait of Hormuz is closed, it will cause a collapse in the oil market, especially in China and the European Union,” Valery Bessel summed up.