London/Dubai: Opec is in no hurry to decide whether to pump more oil to make up for an expected drop in exports from Iran after the imposition of new US sanctions, four sources familiar with the issue said, saying any loss in supply would take time.
The Opec has a deal with Russia and non-opec producers to cut supplies that has helped erase a global glut and boosted oil prices to their highest since 2014.
Officials are considering whether a drop in Iranian exports and a decline in supply from another Opec member, Venezuela, demands adjusting the deal that runs to the end of 2018. Ministers meet in June to review the policy.
US sanctions on Iran will have a six-month period during which buyers should “wind down” oil purchases, meaning any loss of supply will not be immediately felt in the market. “I think we have 180 days before any supply impact,” an Opec source said when asked about any plans for action.
A second Opec source said that, while the need to add extra supply was being considered, the safest thing for the group to do for now was to sit tight and monitor the situation.
Brent reached $78 a barrel on Thursday, its highest since November 2014, two days after President Donald Trump said the US was abandoning an international nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions.
Iran, which pumps about 4 per cent of the world’s oil, exports about 450,000 barrels per day to Europe and around 1.8 million bpd to Asia....