'Cool Down': Iran Warns Trump Against Tapping US Emergency Oil Reserve

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Sergio Russo / Green OilThe Department of Energy said Friday it's considering buying 5 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a move that could signal a government plan to bolster an industry suffering from collapsing prices.
The Department of Energy said Friday it's considering buying 5 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a move that could signal a government plan to bolster an industry suffering from collapsing prices. - Sputnik International
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Iran's OPEC representative has offered the American president a word of advice as Washington considers chipping away at the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a bid to push down global oil prices.

"My advice to you, Mr. President, is to avoid touching the SPR – to cool down and give up sanctioning Iranian oil," senior Iranian oil representative Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Bloomberg News.

"Mr. President, as I have foreseen earlier, it seems you are resorting to the SPR due to the fact that there is no spare capacity to cover for Iranian exports –but there will be many repercussions," Kazempour warned.

This picture taken on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, shows a partially constructed gas refinery at the South Pars gas field on the northern coast of Persian Gulf in Asalouyeh, Iran - Sputnik International
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Kazempour's remarks follow US media reports that Washington was looking to tap into its 660-million-barrel crude supplies, selling off between 5-30 million barrels or even more if sales are coordinated with other oil producers. The plans come ahead of November's midterm elections and the November 4 deadline when US sanctions against Tehran kick into effect.

The Trump administration has pressed Saudi Arabia and other US allies and partners to step up to replace Iranian crude exports when sanctions are renewed. The International Energy Agency estimates that up to half of Tehran's exports could be affected by the US move. According to the US media, some of Trump's advisers are categorically opposed to selling off America's emergency oil reserves, stressing that this should be done only in case of extreme need.

Earlier this month, Kazempour warned that Washington should 'think twice' about the global impact a halt to Iran's exports of oil would have. "But we are a civilized nation, and a responsible government," the official added.

OPEC and Russia announced plans to increase the world oil supply last month, justifying the move by saying that failure to do so may lead to $100 a barrel oil prices amid a perceived deficit in global supply.

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