by Tyler Durden
With the US set to run out of on-land storage in the space of just three months and with the Iran nuclear deal still stuck in “tentative,” “maybe/maybe not,” purgatory (i.e. “we agree on the outline of a plan which will pave the way for an agreement but aren’t sure how much of the plan or hypothetical agreement we want to share”), interesting times lay ahead for crude which, in a likely preview of what’s to come, traded in “deal or no deal” mode throughout Thursday’s session. With Tehran sitting on 9% of the world’s proven reserves, the lifting of sanctions and opening of the country’s oil fields to foreign investment could trigger a dramatic decline in crude prices as an extra million bpd gets set to be unleashed on an already saturated market.
Meanwhile, crude exports from from Iraq are hitting three-and-a-half decade highs while production, at 3.7 million bpd, is humming along at a 50-year high despite the ISIS presence in the country. As Bloomberg reports, 5% of the world’s VLCC fleet is currently parked in the Persian Gulf outside the Basra Oil Terminal, where tankers are now waiting an average of 16 days driving shipping rates to multi-year highs in the process. Here’s more:
Iraq’s biggest oil exports in more than three decades and winter winds are helping to keep shipping rates at a six-year high as a four-mile line of supertankers waits to load the nation’s crude.
There are 22 of the industry’s biggest tankers, or almost 5 percent of the fleet, waiting to collect cargoes from the Basra Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf, from where most of Iraq’s crude is shipped. The daily rate for supertankers transporting crude from the Middle East to Japan rose to $51,042 on Thursday, bringing the average for this year to $61,306, data from the Baltic Exchange in London show.