Market Alert: Iran Sanctions Waivers

U.S. sanctions on Iran’s exports of crude oil and condensate came into effect today, with waivers granted to eight of Iran’s traditional customers in Asia and the Mediterranean. It seems the waivers may be a useful negotiating tool for the Trump Administration and, thus, although they expire in 6 months, it is likely they will be extended. Even with these waivers, Iranian exports will still fall by roughly 1.2 million b/d in 2019.

Market Alert: IMO – Discretionary Enforcement Still Possible

After much debate and drama, the chairman of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee rejected a proposal today to phase in the sulfur regulations through an “experience building phase.” The proposal was vaguely defined in scope and timing and would have created significant uncertainty ahead of the January 2020 start date. Still, ESAI Energy expects the market will phase in the regulations on its own through a combination of waivers and discretionary enforcement, as well as some outright cheating. We expect just under three-quarters of bunker fuel consumed in 2020 to be compliant.