Crude oil and Brent oil recovered yesterday after Iranian diplomatic negotiations seemed to reach an impasse easing hopes that sanctions could be lifted as early as this week. WTI oil climbed yesterday to trade at 95.44 but eased this morning by 34 cents to 95.10 while brent oil climbed over 110$ yesterday and gave back 27 cents in this morning session. A senior Iranian negotiator said yesterday that “serious issues” continue to divide Tehran and world powers in talks over the country’s nuclear drive after a “very useful” session in Geneva. The EU said they had been “very substantial and detailed”. “It seems not conclusive as of now but most Americans support a deal between Iran and the six powers,” he said.
“This generates positive sentiment. New sanctions are unlikely to be imposed, so concern over Iranian crude going into the market adds pressure to oil prices.” The P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany wants Iran to suspend certain parts of its nuclear energy program, which the West suspects to be a cover for weapons development. Iran denies the accusation. The two sides had resumed talks late Wednesday aimed at reaching a landmark deal although Tehran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed not to retreat “one step’’.
The opening plenary session in Geneva lasted less than 10 minutes and was described by diplomats as an “introductory” meeting before delegates headed into bilateral talks. The talks, the third since President Hassan Rouhani took office, are aimed at getting major crude exporter Iran to scale back some of its nuclear programme in exchange for minor sanctions relief. Oil traders reacted also to minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting, which showed the US central bank has considered the possibility of tapering its huge stimulus programme in the coming months.
The minutes were published on Wednesday and after the Department of Energy said US commercial crude inventories had risen 400,000 barrels last week — lower than market expectations of a gain of 700,000 barrels. Market analysts said that the rise in crude oil futures was attributed to a firm trend in Asia after US President Barack Obama said that he was not sure a deal could be reached this week on Iran’s disputed nuclear program
Natural gas consumption over the April-through-October period this year was 2.9 Bcf/d lower than in 2012. A combination of higher natural gas prices relative to coal prices and cooler summer weather compared to last year contributed to a 14%. Natural gas climbed by 13 points this morning to reach a recent high of 3.713. Inventories started the injection season in April at 1,724 Bcf, more than 30% below the April 2012 level. This was largely a reflection of the record-high levels at the start of the injection season in 2012, following a warm winter with reduced residential and commercial consumption for heating coupled with robust production. Although inventories have remained below 2012 levels,