In the current straitened sanctions period, Iran’s focus in its oil sector is broadly to increase the capacity of its fields in West Karoun and from the huge fields that it shares with Iraq. This strategy allows it firstly to generate income even in the low price oil environment – its US$1-2 per barrel lifting cost is the same as Saudi Arabia’s – and secondly to position itself to take up any slack in supply caused by dint of the oil price war. According to a senior oil sector source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry, Tehran expects Saudi Arabia, for one, to struggle to meet the fantastical supply figures that it has given to key potential buyers, particularly in the East, in the coming weeks and beyond. This view appears entirely reasonable, given that just last week Saudi Aramco reportedly rejected at least three Asian refiners’ requests […]