News of an 'imminent' nuclear deal with Iran sent oil prices lower this week, but the reality of OPEC underproduction soon shifted sentiment and sent prices higher on Friday.
Wherever you looked this week, it seemed that Iran was at the center of all oil market news. The prospect of a breakthrough in the nuclear deal, a breakthrough that was assumed to be imminent by several participants, drove oil prices lower over the week after last week’s bull run to mid $90s. The fact that Iran’s crude would take several months to reach markets if a deal were agreed upon shows that this was largely driven by sentiment. On the fundamental front, OPEC+ underperformance is potentially flirting with 1 million b/d in February, news that led even the IEA to get involved in pushing for more oil. The IEA joined the ranks of India and other major importers, all calling upon Middle Eastern exporters to bring more crude into the markets.