Last week, Iraq announced that they are holding a fifth bidding round for exploration and development of natural gas fields in the province of Diyala. Located in eastern Iraq, the fields of Diyala are expected to produce more than 750 million cubic feet of natural gas within the next three years. This latest round of bidding for the country’s underdeveloped fields comes at a time where the United States has pressured the country to reduce its dependence on gas imports from Iran.
President Trump recently threatened to tax, nearly $300 billion dollars of Chinese products, by 10%. The already volatile oil market, seems to have room for some extra volatility. The volatility would largely cycle around China’s response to the U.S. tariffs. If China responds by purchasing oil from Iran, analysts speculate crude could rapidly approach $30 per barrel. Trump could impose the sanctions on the Chinese imports as soon as September 1st. Trump also threatened that he could raise the tariff, if no progress has been made towards a trade deal.
The latest episode from Iran revolves around an Iranian drone that was destroyed by a U.S. Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz. According to the U.S. Navy, the drone had flown within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer and had ignored “multiple calls to stand down.” The end result, the drone was immediately obliterated. Iranian officials claim they have no record of losing a drone. This episode follows another report earlier in the week when Iran said it seized a foreign tanker in the Gulf.
According to reports, Iran is quickly going to breach the Uranium-stockpile limit set by the current nuclear deal. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has already warned that a new deal needed to be in action by Sunday June 7, 2019 or the Islamic Republic will increase enrichment of Uranium. Globally, there is much concern with the growth rate of Iran’s uranium cache, because they are just a step away from weapon-grade levels of uranium.