Tougher US sanctions against Iranian oil from May to increase the number of factors that limit the global supply of medium gravity crude oil, higher prices for scarce barrels and establishing a standoff between buyers and sellers.
Measures against Iran's shipping add vetoed the Washington Venezuelan oil and production problems in Angola is still the largest producer of degrees thick oil, which is more suitable for the manufacture of processed products revenue, such as jet fuel.
US officials say that the world's oil reserves will continue to be plentiful, even with the approval and especially to the growth of oil shale in the United States. But most of the supplies, led by the US, Saudi Arabia and Russia, the lighter varieties.
The cost of heavy oils, such as granite and Heidrun Norwegians, said in recent months, says a trader from the North Sea. In April, the Grand Prix has grown from a Brent price (spot market) plus 10 cents to a level close to dated Brent cost more than $ 1 per barrel.
In addition, processors want more heavy sweet crude, Iran and Venezuela have proposed to produce fuel oil with low sulfur content before new emission regulations for deliveries next year.
Eyes in Angola, China
Price quotations for various Angolan oil alternatives Iranian and Venezuelan oil, were at the highest level, traders said.
Sources said last week that the Angolan state Sonangol sold a cargo of one of its heavy grades, Dahlia, for $ 2 per barrel higher than Brent by $ 7 in relation to two years ago. Usually grade traded at a discount of $ 1 or more.
While some customers are willing to buy at high prices, others resist. The dispute comes partly doubts about how much Iranian oil could continue to flow after May 1, when the exception expires United States for customers in Iran.
Analysts expect China to ignore the limitations, especially since Washington may not want to punish the Chinese companies that import Iranian oil, but also to the & # 39 are a key oil and natural gas liquids American customers.