Iran Oil Below $50 for 3rd Week

Iran Oil Below $50 for 3rd WeekIran Oil Below $50 for 3rd Week

Iranian crude settled below $50 a barrel for the third straight week in the week ending Oct. 30.

Iran's light crude was down 92 cents at $44.02, averaging $52.72 since March. Heavy crude also settled down $1.06 at $41.73 a barrel. The country's average price of heavy oil stands at $50.78 in the past seven months, Shana said in a report.

The UAE and Oman saw the biggest decline in crude oil prices among major Middle East producers in the week ending Oct. 30. UAE's oil fell $1.02 to settle at $43.61 a barrel, while Oman's crude fared slightly better to trade at $43.80 a barrel after losing $1.17.

Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, was down about 50 cents at $47.50 a barrel. US crude settled down 91 cents, or 2%, at $44.29 a barrel. According to 13 global investment banks polled by The Wall Street Journal last month, Brent crude prices will average $58 a barrel next year, a sharply downgraded forecast from $70 a barrel in 2016 that many banks had predicted only a few months ago.

Brent stood at around $115 in June 2014, but prices went down to $70 per barrel range last September when overproduction from the United States caused prices to dip.

Prices continued to sink to $40-50 in early 2015 after OPEC member-states, and in particular the world's biggest crude exporter Saudi Arabia, decided to keep production unchanged in November 2014.

Global crude prices are not expected to rebound any time soon as production by Russia, a non-OPEC producer, broke a post-Soviet record in October for the fourth time this year.

Analysts anticipate further dip in prices when Iran ramps up exports in early 2016 following the July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions reliefs.

Once OPEC's second biggest producer, Tehran plans to raise oil output to more than 4 million barrels a day in the post-sanctions period. Iranian officials expect a 500,000-bpd rise in production "a week" after the removal of sanctions and by 1 million bpd within the following five months.

An Oil Ministry official has declared that the Islamic Republic will reach the 500,000-bpd milestone by late November or early December even before most western sanctions are lifted.

Sanctions curbed Iran’s sales of crude and condensate to 1.4 million bpd in 2014 from 2.6 million in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration.