Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
11:56 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
20 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
OPEC could replace Iran oil supplies to Europe
Bloomberg
An Iraqi worker operates valves at the Rumaila oil refinery, near the city of Basra.
An Iraqi worker operates valves at the Rumaila oil refinery, near the city of Basra.
A+ A-

OPEC members would be able to make up for a drop in Iranian oil supplies if the EU was to agree to an embargo on the country’s imports, said Chakib Khelil, the group’s former president.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has oil in onshore storage and in tankers, Khelil said in an interview with Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move” Friday. “It should be possible to replace at least the European consumption of Iranian oil,” he said.

Crude futures gained since the middle of last month, partly because of concern that tensions between the West and Iran could disrupt supplies to global markets. In addition, production may start shutting this week in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest supplier, if unions don’t reach an agreement with the country’s government on fuel subsidies, according to the Pengassan union.

“This year is exceptional,” said Khelil, who is also Algeria’s former energy minister. “We are seeing some problems coming up in Nigeria, and like experience has shown, we never can guess what may happen. This year we could be surprised by the prices.”

Crude has been buoyed this month by tensions with Iran after the country’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said on Dec. 27 that Iran would consider closing the Strait of Hormuz, the transit point for a fifth of the world’s crude.

An extended closure of the waterway may push crude oil to $200 a barrel, Khelil said, echoing a forecast for Brent this week from Mike Wittner, Societe Generale SA’s head of oil market research. “People were talking about $150 to $200. It depends for how long the strait would be closed,” Khelil said.

France, Germany and the U.K. have been pushing for an embargo to increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. The 27-member bloc may delay any halt to Iranian oil imports for six months to let countries such as Greece and Italy find alternative supply, an EU official with knowledge of talks said Thursday. Greece’s refineries relied on Iran for 20 percent of their oil in 2011.

“Europe actually is in a tremendous crisis right now and a peak in oil price would batter the economy more,” Khelil said. “Especially for those countries like Greece which have suffered already from that crisis.”

A global economic slowdown could see crude prices roughly halve from current levels, Khelil said. “You could have a tremendous economic crisis, in that case the oil price could fall down to $50,” he said.

Nigerian workers are striking over a cut in fuel subsidies this month that has caused gasoline prices to more than double. Nigeria produced 2.1 million barrels of crude a day in November while Iran pumped 3.55 million barrels, bringing their combined output to 6.3 percent of global supply, according to the International Energy Agency.

Crude futures traded at about $98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. Brent was at $110 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 14, 2012, on page 4.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
iran oil / Iran / Oil & Gas
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS