Trump says he's spoken to Saudi Arabia about increasing oil flow

Trump says he's spoken to Saudi Arabia about increasing oil flow

The sting of the Trump administration's decision not to re-issue waivers on Iran oil sanctions faded on Friday with crude prices dropping more than 3% following comments from the United States president.

The recent steps against Venezuela and Iran seem to help Washington by supporting the cost effectiveness of the USA oil industry, especially the country's shale oil, according to Denis Lisitsin, Aerarium Group's asset management director. He calls it as a long-arm jurisdiction that has been imposed by the USA on Iran. Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih stated that Riyadh was committed to "stabilise" the oil market.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, has also said it had no immediate plans to raise oil output after the sanctions waivers end.

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Earlier on Friday, Trump told reporters he had "called up" OPEC and urged the producer group to take action to bring down fuel costs. "This decision is meant to bring Iran's exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of income". Trump's statement is thus being seen as a short-term relief for the oil market.

However, waivers were granted to eight main buyers of Iranian crude - India, China, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Turkey and Taiwan. The waivers allowed those countries to purchase reduced volumes of Iranian crude with the understanding that the levels should drop over the course of the 180 days for any extension to be considered.

Any wind-down measures would be different than the 180-day exceptions the Trump administration granted in November to China and seven other importers for significantly reducing oil purchases from Iran, measures set to end in May.

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The Trump administration is using current oil market conditions to rationalise eliminating the waivers.

He further rejected the Saudi and Emirati officials' claims of making up for Iran's lost oil in the global market and said, "I believe they are overstating their oil capacities".

The sanctions have taken a hard bite into Iran's economy: Tehran's crude exports have fallen from highs of 2.6 million-2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 1 million bpd. Iran has not responded to the announcement made on the sanction waiver. "Spoke to Saudi Arabia and others about increasing oil flow".

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A significant number of local tourist trips also adds to the upbeat forecast for the country's tourism sector, with the number of domestic tourists exceeding 47 million in 2018, which Colliers said will increase to 70.5 million by 2023.

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