Iran surprises the world with record oil output
IT’S NO WONDER THAT CONGRESSIONAL
Republicans are lobbying hard to reinstate the U.S. government’s long-standing Iran Sanctions Act. The law, which endorsed a blockade of Iranian energy, banking and trade, was dropped by the Obama administration after six world powers reached a deal with the Mid-East country over its nuclear power ambitions last summer. Since the sanctions fell on January 1, OPEC’s third-largest producer has far outpaced the export projections of analysts, reaching a five-year high of 2.6 million barrels a day in September, and gobbled up OPEC market share. China, India, Japan and South Korea are among the major Asian oil consumers that have sharply boosted their imports of Iranian crude in 2016. Those extra barrels have slowed the oil price recovery in the U.S. and Canada, where most fracking and oil sands production remains a comparatively high-cost gamble against cheap Iranian crude. With Asia looking to be the fastest-growing market for energy and consumer goods for the foreseeable future, Iran is looking to lock down $130 billion in foreign investment to modernize its upstream energy infrastructure after years of neglect under the U.S.-led sanctions.