Iran’s Market Entry Pushes Oil Below $28/Barrel; China Makes First US Oil Order

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Oil dominated the headlines this morning as the lifting of sanctions on Iran brought unease to the markets and a major Chinese refiner made its first order of now exportable US oil.

Brent Crude Goes Below $28/Barrel

Brent crude, used as an international benchmark, fell as low as $27.67 a barrel, its lowest since 2003, before recovering to trade at $28.86.

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Investors fear the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran could worsen the existing oversupply problem.

Chinese Refiner Orders US Oil

Reuters reported that China’s state-run oil refiner Sinopec Corp. has purchased its first ever batch of US crude oil for export, a landmark transaction after the ending of a four-decade ban on domestic exports.

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The cargo, due to be loaded from a Gulf Coast port in March, may mark the start of a sustained flow of US oil to China, the world’s second-largest buyer, which is eager to diversify its energy sources. As the world’s second-biggest oil refiner, Sinopec buys more crude oil than almost any other company, and has worked to improve its supply security by seeking out diverse sources.

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