Just days before the US sanction on Iranian crude exports are set to take effect, the price of crude oil is down below $80 per barrel. According to Reuters, Brent crude is currently selling for a little less than $76.50, while U.S. light crude is down to $66.44. Although oil surged to a four-year high during the beginning of the month, global energy supply forecasts, geopolitical instability, and a general decrease in demand have all played a part in the commodity’s decline.
“There are two downward pressures on global oil demand growth. One is high oil prices, and in many countries they’re directly related to consumer prices,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director, while speaking at an industry meeting. “The second one is global economic growth momentum slowing down.”
Although the United States has repeatedly told the world that those who continue to purchase Tehran’s oil will face swift consequences, several vital countries have stated they intend to keep importing Iranian crude. According to a report from Reuters, China, India, and Turkey plan to continue purchasing crude from the Gulf state, claiming that they will not be able to buy enough from other sources to sustain their growth.
However, the Iranian regime may have lost any good will it could have gained from crying foul on the sanctions after authorities in Denmark claim they stopped an Iranian security service-led attack on Tuesday. According to Reuters, Denmark’s chief intelligence officer, Finn Borch Anderson, contended that the thwarted attack was aimed at killing the leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA).
“We are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish soil,” said Anderson, according to Reuters. “Obviously, we can’t and won’t accept that.”
Denmark’s foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, is reportedly meeting with other European allies to formulate a response.
Although Turkey may well plan to buy Iranian crude, the country is also exploring drilling for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. According to a report from Reuters, at least one Turkish-flagged vessel will begin drilling operations about 60 miles off the country’s coast. However, this move is likely to be contested by both Cyprus and Greece.
“Turkey has set its main goal as independence in energy,” said Turkey’s Energy Minister, Fatih Donmez, while speaking to reporters. “We don’t have an eye on others’ resources, our only issue is to present to our people the riches within our territory.”
While crude oil prices have sunk over the last few weeks, some energy companies are posting record profits. According to a report from Reuters, BP profits soared, hitting a five-year high. The company had struggled to recover from the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 but has finally rebounded thanks to new capital expenditure projects and acquisitions.
BP has focused a significant amount of resources on natural gas and has opened sites in Angola, Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Oman.