Broadcasters: PART NO USE IRAN. NO USE BBC PERSIAN. NO USE MANOTO. NO USE VOA PERSIAN // Digital: PART NO USE IRAN. NO USE BBC PERSIAN. NO USE MANOTO. NO USE VOA PERSIAN. **~
So much for sanctions on Iran.
Oil prices were expected to rise when the U.S. embargoed sales by the nation.
It isn't working out that way.
Oil now in bear market territory instead.
U.S. benchmark prices down to around 60 dollars, off by a fifth since early October.
A tenth day of declines would mark their longest losing streak ever.
Worries about flagging global growth the context.
But Reuters commodities columnist John Kemp in London says various other factors are at play:
"The first is that OPEC and its allies are increasing their production rates, and that's partly come in response to pressure from the White House. Secondly, US shale oil producers have been boosting their production enormously. Their production is up by 2 million barrels per day compared to the same period last year."
The Iran sanctions are also full of holes.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran can sell its oil today - and will continue selling if God wills."
In fact Washington wills, granting exemptions to Iran's biggest buyers.
China's National Petroleum Corp among those to say it's still taking Iranian crude.
Industry analysts say shipments from the country could now run at 1.5 million barrels per day while exemptions last.
That's down by about a half on the mid-2018 peak.
But it's a long way from the U.S. goal of zero barrels per day.