Iranian minister plays down JCPOA expectations

  • Spanish Market: Crude oil
  • 26/05/21

Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi has moved to temper expectations of a quick breakthrough in the Vienna talks about the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that he is "not confident" the sticking points that remain can be overcome in the round of discussions that began yesterday.

"We have made progress on [overcoming our differences], but we are still not in a position to say that we will reach a clear solution for the key issues that remain," Araqchi said in Vienna late yesterday.

A breakthrough would see Iran scale back its nuclear activities to levels allowed under the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in return for a lifting of US sanctions on oil and banking that have put tremendous strain on Iran's economy and government finances.

"I am confident that we will be able to make more progress this time… [but] while it is possible, I have to repeat that I am not confident we will manage to conclude the negotiations this round," he said.

Araqchi was speaking after a meeting of the joint commission of the JCPOA, which brings together all remaining parties to the deal — Iran, Russia, China and the E3 countries of Germany, France and the UK. US negotiators have been involved in the talks since they began early last month, but have only engaged with the Iranians indirectly via the EU and other participants.

Araqchi's comments came after bullish statements from Tehran late last week, when Iran's President Hassan Rohani said the US had already "agreed" to lift all major economic sanctions on Iran, and that only "small details" remained to be overcome.

"There are still some issues that we are discussing to reach the final agreement," Rohani said. "But the main issues — the oil sanctions, the sanctions on petrochemicals, on shipping, on insurance, on the central bank, on the banking sector etc… they have agreed to all these."

The toughest obstacle in the talks has been addressing those sanctions that the previous US government imposed on Iran between 2018 and 2020, which the current administration in Washington has described as "poison pills" designed to sabotage any return to the JCPOA. While Iran continues to insist that all these sanctions need to be lifted, Washington has so far said that it would only remove those that prevent the smooth functioning of Iran's economy, which would include removing the 'terrorism' labels imposed on Iran's central bank, state-owned NIOC and other oil sector entities.

But the US has serious reservations over lifting the same label from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a paramilitary force with extensive political and economy interests.


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20/05/24

Iran's president dies in helicopter crash

Iran's president dies in helicopter crash

Dubai, 20 May (Argus) — Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi has died in a helicopter crash alongside his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, state media reported early today. The two were confirmed dead more than 12 hours after news broke on 19 May afternoon that a helicopter carrying them had suffered "a hard landing" in Iran's East Azerbaijan province as he was returning from Azerbaijan, where he had inaugurated the Qiz Qalasi dam, alongside his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev. "Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the eighth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who had an air accident on Sunday evening as he was returning to [the Iranian city of] Tabriz from the inauguration ceremony of the Qiz Qalasi dam…reached martyrdom, along with his companions," Iran's state news agency Irna reported. The governor of Iran's East Azerbaijan province, Malek Rahmati, and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali al-Hashem, the representative to the province of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were also on board the helicopter. More than 50 search and rescue teams were dispatched, with support from allied countries, including Russia. Moscow said on 19 May it had sent 47 specialists, all-terrain vehicles and a BO-105 helicopter. Difficult weather conditions, nightfall, and the mountainous terrain had "complicated efforts" by the search and rescue teams to first locate the exact site of the crash, and then reach it, said Iran's interior minister Ahmad Vahidi. But officials on 20 May reported that the search had narrowed, with the head of Iran's Red Crescent Pir Hossein Kolivand confirming at around 06:00 local time (02:30 GMT) that the wreckage had been found. On arriving at the site, rescuers confirmed that there were "no signs of life." Images shared by state media showed only the helicopter's tail had remained intact, with the entirety of the helicopter's cabin significantly damaged and charred. The investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing, but all Iranian officials are pointing to the bad weather as the primary reason for the helicopter losing control. Iran's cabinet held an extraordinary meeting in the aftermath of announcement of the president's death. This was chaired by the country's first vice president Mohammad Mokhber, who will assume the president's powers and functions with the approval of the supreme leader, as per the constitution. A council, consisting of the speaker of the parliament, head of the judiciary and the first vice president, will now be obliged to arrange for a new president to be elected within a maximum of 50 days. This requires that an election now be held on or before 9 July. By Nader Itayim Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Houston refiners weather hurricane-force winds: Update


17/05/24
17/05/24

Houston refiners weather hurricane-force winds: Update

Adds Calcasieu comment, update on flaring reporting Houston, 17 May (Argus) — Over 2mn b/d of US refining capacity faced destructive winds Thursday evening as a major storm blew through Houston, Texas, but the damage reported so far has been minimal. Wind speeds of up to 78 mph were recorded in northeast Houston and the Houston Ship Channel — home to five refineries with a combined 1.5mn b/d of capacity — faced winds up to 74 mph, according to the National Weather Service . Further South in Galveston Bay, where Valero and Marathon Petroleum refineries total 818,000 b/d of capacity, max wind speeds of 51 mph were recorded. Chevron's 112,000 b/d Pasadena refinery on the Ship Channel just east of downtown Houston sustained minor damage during the storm and continues to supply customers, the company said. ExxonMobil's 564,000 b/d Baytown refinery on the Ship Channel and 369,000 b/d Beaumont, Texas, refinery further east faced no significant impact from the storm and the company continues to supply customers, a spokesperson told Argus . Neither Phillips 66's 265,000 b/d Sweeny refinery southwest of Houston nor its 264,000 b/d Lake Charles refinery 140 miles east in Louisiana were affected by the storm, a spokesperson said. There was no damage at Motiva's 626,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery according to the company. Calcasieu's 136,000 b/d refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was unaffected by the storm and operations are normal, the refiner said. Marathon Petroleum declined to comment on operations at its 593,000 b/d Galveston Bay refinery. Valero, LyondellBasell, Pemex, Total and Citgo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on operations at their refineries in the Houston area, Port Arthur and Lake Charles. A roughly eight-mile portion of the Houston Ship Channel from the Sidney Sherman Bridge to Greens Bayou closed from 9pm ET 16 May to 1am ET today when two ships brokeaway from their moorings, and officials looked in a potential fuel oil spill, according to the US Coast Guard. The portion that closed provides access to Valero's 215,000 b/d Houston refinery, LyondellBasell's 264,000 b/d Houston refinery and Chevron's Pasadena refinery. Emissions filings with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are yet to indicate the extent of any flaring and disruption to operations in the Houston area Thursday evening, but will likely be reported later Friday and over the weekend. Gulf coast refiners ran their plants at average utilization rates of 93pc in the week ended 10 May, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), up by two percentage points from the prior week as the industry heads into the late-May Memorial Day weekend and beginning of peak summer driving season. The next EIA data release on 22 May will likely reveal any dip in Gulf coast refinery throughputs resulting from the storm. By Nathan Risser Houston area refineries Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Houston area refiners weather hurricane-force winds


17/05/24
17/05/24

Houston area refiners weather hurricane-force winds

Houston, 17 May (Argus) — Over 2mn b/d of US refining capacity faced destructive winds Thursday evening as a major storm blew through Houston, Texas, but the damage reported so far has been minimal. Wind speeds of up to 78 Mph were recorded in northeast Houston and the Houston Ship Channel — home to five refineries with a combined 1.5mn b/d of capacity — faced winds up to 74 Mph, according to the National Weather Service . Further South in Galveston Bay, where Valero and Marathon Petroleum refineries total 818,000 b/d of capacity, max wind speeds of 51 Mph were recorded. Chevron's 112,000 b/d Pasadena refinery on the Ship Channel just east of downtown Houston sustained minor damage during the storm and continues to supply customers, the company said. ExxonMobil's 564,000 b/d Baytown refinery on the Ship Channel and 369,000 b/d Beaumont, Texas, refinery further east faced no significant impact from the storm and the company continues to supply customers, a spokesperson told Argus . Neither Phillips 66's 265,000 b/d Sweeny refinery southwest of Houston nor its 264,000 b/d Lake Charles refinery 140 miles east in Louisiana were affected by the storm, a spokesperson said. There was no damage at Motiva's 626,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery according to the company. Marathon Petroleum declined to comment on operations at its 593,000 b/d Galveston Bay refinery. Valero, LyondellBasell, Pemex, Total, Calcasieu and Citgo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on operations at their refineries in the Houston area, Port Arthur and Lake Charles. A roughly eight-mile portion of the Houston Ship Channel from the Sidney Sherman Bridge to Greens Bayou closed from 9pm ET 16 May to 1am ET today when two ships brokeaway from their moorings, and officials looked in a potential fuel oil spill, according to the US Coast Guard. The portion that closed provides access to Valero's 215,000 b/d Houston refinery, LyondellBasell's 264,000 b/d Houston refinery and Chevron's Pasadena refinery. By Nathan Risser Houston area refineries Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Texas barge collision shuts GIWW section: Correction


16/05/24
16/05/24

Texas barge collision shuts GIWW section: Correction

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Dangote seeks 2mn bl/month WTI crude for 12 months


16/05/24
16/05/24

Dangote seeks 2mn bl/month WTI crude for 12 months

London, 16 May (Argus) — Nigeria's 650,000 b/d capacity Dangote refinery has issued a tender for the supply of 2mn bl of US WTI crude each month, for 12 months starting in July, according to a tender document seen by Argus . Dangote will accept offers on a delivered cif basis to Lekki, Nigeria, and on a fob basis from Houston and Corpus Christi, Tx. It was not stated whether the fob offers would be against WTI or Brent. The tender closes on 21 May. Dangote came online at the end of 2023 and its throughout capacity is planned to reach around 350,000 b/d a its first phase of operations. The refinery received its first crude cargo on 6 December and since then deliveries have averaged 179,000 b/d, according to data from Vortexa. Light sweet WTI accounted for 42,000 b/d, or 23pc of the total. By Lina Bulyk and Kuganiga Kuganeswaran Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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