The United States sanctions against Iran’s oil exports entered into full force last week as the United States attempts to cripple Iran’s oil-dependent economy and suppress their nuclear desires. Although Washington has vowed to halt all purchases of crude from Iran, it recently supplied eight countries with waivers to continue imports without penalty for the next 180 days. While President Trump views this as a way to stabilize any fear of global price spikes, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani believes the United States had no choice but to grant the waivers and Iran has publicly stated they will continue to export as much oil as needed. However, one thing to be cognizant of is, how will Iran ship their product?
The geopolitical climate in the Middle East continues to intensify as the Saudi government is preparing to admit that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. President Trump has threatened to impose severe punishment on Saudi Arabia if it is proved they are behind the murder while the Saudi government has said they will respond with greater action if the United States moves forward. The threat of Saudi Arabia using their oil reserves as a weapon has the world on the edge of their seat.
The Bureau of Land Management, under the Department of the Interior, held a two-day auction on 142 parcels of land in New Mexico at the beginning of September. The results from this single sale has surpassed their sales numbers from all transactions in 2017 combined. The land lease sale of nearly US $1 billion will provide ample land to further boost the already growing oil production in the state.
The second round sanctions by the U.S. on Iran will take effect in November. These sanctions will focus on Iran’s energy sector. The Trump administration forecasts that it will persuade the countries that import Iranian oil to cut as much as 1 million barrels a day when the sanctions begin in early November. The major importers of Iranian oil (China, India, South Korea and Japan) are all situated in Southeast Asia and are allies with the United States.
There is a new land grab in the Permian Basin that may ease the bottlenecks of oil producers in the west Texas region. Oil Producers pump frac sand and other materials into wells to break up shale rock in order to produce oil. These wells are getting longer and wider which increases the amount of sand used. The need for frac sand is increasing as U.S. rig counts hover above 1,000 nationwide.