US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Saudi Arabia faced a difficult task: if the United States blocks oil supplies from the kingdom, Riyadh will urgently have to redirect somewhere 19 tankers that are already transporting nearly 40 million barrels of “black gold” to the shores of the United States.
The possibility of introducing a temporary ban on the import of crude oil was announced immediately by several officials from Washington. True, the decision still remains with US President Donald Trump, and it has not yet been made. It is possible that instead of a total ban, high import duties will be introduced. Meanwhile, as notes Reuters, such a force majeure may further increase pressure on the markets, and so are trying to swallow more oil than possible.
Agency sources in shipping companies reported that Riyadh was already thinking of leaving oil for storage in the ocean on already chartered vessels, but they refused this option, given the volatility in the markets and general uncertainty.
Officially, Saudi Aramco remains calm: Reuters announced that they intend to fulfill their supply obligations under long-term contracts for April, May and June. At the same time, the Saudi national oil corporation noted that they offer large customers who have refineries in several regions at once, deliver directly to the place of processing of raw materials. “Changes in ship destinations are commonplace during our operations, especially at a company of this magnitude,” Aramco added.
Meanwhile, oil and gas traders interviewed by the agency from Europe and Asia believe that the Saudis will try to sell their customers more than planned.
“Europe looks completely overstocked, but if the Saudis offer oil at really low prices, they will buy it,” an interlocutor from a large international company told the agency on condition of anonymity. “Some still have a place in the tanks. In extreme cases, someone may agree to take the oil for storage for a while.”
Meanwhile, Asian traders expect some of the raw materials to go to the reservoirs of this region. One way or another, all this will again put pressure on the market that does not have time to recover.
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