End of US crude export ban not to affect global oil market: Iran

Tehran, Dec 26, IRNA – Iran says the US Congress decision to end a 40-year ban on crude oil exports by this country should not affect the market dramatically.

‘The US produces light, sweet crude oil that will not be a good substitute for Iran’s crude oil supplies,’ said Mehdi Assali, OPEC affairs director of Iran’s petroleum ministry, according to Shana news agency. 

Therefore, the US crude oil will not endanger Iran’s oil market after the sanctions removal, he said.

The US imports 7m bpd which makes it the biggest oil importer in the world that does not have much crude supplies to offer to world markets, he added. 

Assali said the end of the ban is not good news to producers of costly oil and those that produce oil with similar quality with that of the US like Nigeria and Angola, but for Iran, given the quality of its oil, there will not be much explicit impact on its markets. 

The US Congress voted earlier this month to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exporting US crude oil. Congress, concerned about US dependence on imported oil, imposed the crude oil export ban after the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s.

On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the United States’ decision to lift a ban on oil exports should not affect the global oil market. 

‘This should not affect the market, this country (the United States) is an importer, it needs to buy oil on the market itself,’ Novak told reporters.

Regarding, the US Federal Reserve’s promise of gradual rate hikes, the Iranian official said the hikes will reduce US’s oil inventories. 

‘This rate hike will affect the US dollar against other currencies and will boost the cost of commercial inventories in the country,’ he said.