Oil-related Developments - May 2019

The immediate impact of the announcement ending waivers on the import of Iranian oil was to push oil prices to their highest levels over the last six months: WTI crossed $ 66/ barrel, while Brent crossed $ 75/ barrel. These prices moderated to some extent following announcements by Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they would make up for lost supplies; they however clarified that this would be only if market conditions so demanded and only after consultations with OPEC + members who have agreed to reduce their production by 1.2 mbd to maintain price levels.

On 27 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he has not heard any signals from members of OPEC about possibly leaving the deal on curbing oil output, adding this was unlikely. Putin told a press briefing that the deal is effective until the end of June and that he hoped Saudi Arabia will not have to raise its oil production to offset possible exports curbs from Iran due to the US sanctions.

On 30 April, West Texas Intermediate for June contracts delivery gained 0.22 per cent to USD 63.64, while Brent crude rose 0.32 per cent to USD 72.27 per barrel.

May 1, 2019

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About the Author

Ambassador Talmiz Ahmed

Former Ambassador of India to Saudia Arabia, Oman and UAE, monitors developments in the West Asian region.  

Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974. Early in his career, he was posted in a number of West Asian countries such as Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen and later, between 1987 and 1990, he was Consul General in Jeddah. He also held positions in the Indian missions in New York, London and Pretoria. He served as Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2000-03; 2010-11); Oman (2003-04), and the UAE (2007-10). He was also Additional Secretary for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2004-06. In July 2011, the Saudi Government conferred on him the King Abdul Aziz Medal First Class for his contribution to the promotion of Indo – Saudi relations. After retirement from the Foreign Service in 2011, he worked in the corporate sector in Dubai for three years. He is now a full-time academic and holds the Ram Sathe Chair for International Studies, Symbiosis International University. He has published three books: Reform in the Arab World: External Influences and Regional Debates (2005), Children of Abraham at War: the Clash of Messianic Militarisms (2010), and The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions after the Arab Spring (2013). He writes and lectures frequently on Political Islam, the politics and economics of West Asia and the Indian Ocean and energy security issues.