Oil prices have sunk back to their lowest levels since the novel coronavirus lockdown in the spring (when, bizarrely, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude briefly touched negative $37.63 a barrel). The pandemic is still weighing on the oil market, but now there seems to be an additional factor: the increasing likelihood that former Vice President Joe Biden will be elected U.S. president and ease sanctions on Iran.
As this Bloomberg News story explains, if the economic sanctions on Iran that President Donald Trump imposed and recently tightened were eased, it would open the sluices for more than 2 million barrels a day of Iranian crude exports. “Within a few months after a Biden election, we expect some Iranian oil will be coming to market,” Iman Nasseri, the London-based managing director for the Middle East at consulting firm FGE, told Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a real headache for OPEC.”