Trump’s sanctions on Iran could push oil prices above $100 per barrel

TEHRAN, Sep. 12 (MNA) – US sanctions on Iran’s energy industry, when they come into effect in November, could potentially drive oil prices above $100 per barrel, according to an industry expert.

US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures traded at about $68 per barrel on Tuesday, while Brent crude futures sat at nearly $78, CNBC reported.

"If there was not that set of sanctions, I think prices would go to $70 or even a little bit lower. But now the sanctions threat is real and less than two months in front of us, that will transform the market into much higher prices," Fereidun Fesharaki, founder and chairman of consultancy FACTS Global Energy, told CNBC's Akiko Fujita at the CLSA Investors' Forum in Hong Kong.

"The higher price will only be blamed on the Trump administration. There's not much anybody can do if the sanctions come in and are enforced properly," he said on Tuesday.

Iran is currently one of the largest oil exporters in the world. Cutting off Iranian supplies entirely would push oil prices above $100 per barrel because other major producers could not easily fill the void, said Fesharaki.

Trump said on Twitter in July that energy prices were too high and urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce prices. But OPEC and Russia don't have the spare capacity to ramp up supply much more, Fesharaki said.

The timing for oil prices to hit $100 per barrel – a level not seen since 2014 – depends on how quickly the US and China resolve their difference on the trade front, Fesharaki noted.

Ongoing friction between the two largest economies in the world has affected sentiment. If that leads to a slowdown in global economic activity, the oil and gas industry will be dampened, Fesharaki ended.

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