In Media


Bloomberg:
May 8, 2022

Vakhshouri: Higher Oil Prices Due to Russia-Ukraine War

Sara Vakhshouri, Founder and President at SVB Energy International discusses oil price volatility caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. She speaks with Yousef Gamal El-Din on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)

ABC News:
March 10, 2022

What impact will the US ban on Russian oil imports have on Putin's invasion?

Energy strategist Dr Sara Vakhshouri explains how the US ban on Russian oil imports won't put too much of a strain on the Russian economy, but that co-ordinated Western bans on Russian oil could see crude spike to 300 US dollars per barrel.

NPR's Market Place:
Feb. 23, 2022

What does hitting pause on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline mean for Europe’s energy supply?

Europe is trying to transition away from coal. And crude oil. It already relies on Russian natural gas to supplement its wind and solar power. “Russian gas is the cheapest and most available supply,” said Sara Vakhshouri, who runs SVB Energy International. She said Europe could buy more liquified natural gas from Qatar or even the U.S. But LNG comes with shipping and liquefaction costs. “The whole process is more costly than just exporting the natural gas from Russia to Europe in [a] pipeline,” she added.

NPR's Market Place:
Feb. 14, 2022

Russia-Ukraine tensions are pushing up oil prices

According to Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, that’s not much comfort to the oil market right now. “The market is very sensitive to any factor that could interrupt the supply because the market is already tight,” she said. The global economy has been reopening after the pandemic lockdowns and many parts of the world have had cold winters, so demand is strong.

India Today:
Feb. 11, 2022

As nuclear talks resume, Iran's oil exports increase

Crude exports reached 1.085 million bpd in January, based on SVB estimates, up from 826,000 bpd in December. SVB has not seen a big difference from January exports to date in February. "I don't think it can go much higher without a waiver," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB.

Reuters:
Feb. 10, 2022

As nuclear talks resume, Iran's oil exports increase

Crude exports reached 1.085 million bpd in January, based on SVB estimates, up from 826,000 bpd in December. SVB has not seen a big difference from January exports to date in February. "I don't think it can go much higher without a waiver," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB. January's exports are the highest since waivers were stopped by the Trump administration, she said. The waivers had granted exemptions for certain buyers of Iranian oil and these were stopped in 2019.

NPR's Market Place:
Jan. 19, 2022

$100-a-barrel oil may soon be a reality — and stick around

Supply couldn’t shut down fast enough at the start of the pandemic, and now it can’t keep up with reemerging demand. Policymakers can also try to dampen oil demand. But according to Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy, that’s the scarier part of the equation. “If Biden’s administration and U.S. Federal Reserve decides to control inflation, if they hit the breaks very fast, then we’re going to have a severe economic slowdown,” Vakhshouri said.

S&P Global Platts:
Jan. 19, 2022

Shrinking spare capacity leaves oil market exposed to geopolitics, supply risks

"The failure of an Iran nuclear deal not only prevents Iran's additional production capacity from entering the market, but it could also interrupt its current supplies in the market," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consultancy SVB Energy International. "Tensions in the Middle East also pose a significant threat to both oil and natural gas supplies and prices."--

Zawya:
Dec. 31, 2021

U.S.-Africa Committee to Host a Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol in Washington D.C. to Discuss Opportunities for U.S. I

The U.S.-Africa Committee of the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) (https://EnergyChamber.org/) will host a Power Breakfast on Thursday 16th December 2021 at The Army And Navy Club 901 17th St NW, Washington D.C., featuring the participation of Hon. Puot Kang Chol, the Minister of Petroleum for the Republic of South Sudan. The Minister will discuss opportunities for U.S. investors in South Sudan’s oil, gas, and energy sectors. The discussion will be driven by Jude Kearney-Managing Partner, Asafo US, Dean Foreman, Chief Economic Officer of the American Petroleum Institute, Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International, and Derek Campbell, Executive Chairman of African Metals Group.

The Guardian:
Dec. 14, 2021

U.S.-Africa Committee to Host a Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol in Washington D.C. to Discuss Opportunities for U.S. I

The Africa Energy Chamber will host a Power Breakfast on Thursday 16th December 2021 at The Army And Navy Club 901 17th St NW, Washington D.C., featuring the participation of Hon. Puot Kang Chol, the Minister of Petroleum for the Republic of South Sudan. The Minister will discuss opportunities for U.S. investors in South Sudan’s oil, gas, and energy sectors. The discussion will be driven by Jude Kearney-Managing Partner, Asafo US, Dean Foreman, Chief Economic Officer of the American Petroleum Institute, Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International, and Derek Campbell, Executive Chairman of African Metals Group.

NPR's Market Place:
Dec. 7, 2021

Oil execs ponder a future without oil as they gather in Houston

Sara Vakhshouri, president of the oil and gas consultancy SVB Energy, said she doesn’t think the future will be that dark, but “the demand for energy is growing, so we are going to use more energy than we are using today. That means the demand destruction for oil is not going to be so great,” she said. The transition away from fossil fuels is important, Vakhshouri said. But policymakers calling for zero investment in oil are taking a risky approach.

Energy Security Cubed Podcast:
Dec. 2, 2021

Energy Security and Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute's Energy Security Cubed Podcast, Kelly Ogle is joined by Sara Vakhshouri to talk energy security and energy transition in Sub-Saharan Africa, and what this could mean internationally.

Anadolu Agency:
Dec. 1, 2021

OPEC aware of delicate market conditions amid new COVID variant

Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International, based in Washington and Dubai, recalled that the collective SPR release would add physical barrels to the market, although she said the volumes that were brought online were not significant, but would "changes the supply prospects." "Also the new variant of Covid-19 and locking out Africa could have a negative impact on demand… In light of all of these, OPEC will carefully study the market's fundamentals’ trajectory and will decide to either continue as it was planned before or take a different direction," she said.

PV Magazine:
Nov. 23, 2021

African Energy Week highlights lack of support for renewables

On the final day of the event in Cape Town – organized by industry body the African Energy Chamber – Sara Vakhshouri, of SVB Energy International, told the conference each African nation has its own unique energy needs and that a ‘mixed basket' of energy sources would be the best approach for nations to secure energy security. Vakhshouri is founder and president of the Washington-based consultant, which lists ‘major national and international oil companies' as its biggest client type. She told the event: “Energy transition doesn’t mean we only need solar and wind. We are not sure that the energy transition to renewables with the current technology is sustainable and viable yet. The high energy prices, increase in population, and lower efficiency of solar and wind make us see a different scenario.” Mohammed Amin Adam, deputy energy minister of Ghana, called upon international investors to devote as much attention to developing renewables in Africa as they do in other markets, such as Europe and Asia.

Marketplace:
Nov. 18, 2021

Biden administration considers its options as gas prices rise

The Biden administration has been pushing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to speed up production, but they’ve declined. OPEC members have an incentive to keep prices higher, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. “Their economies are heavily dependent on their oil sales and oil prices,” she said. The administration has been considering other tools. This week, it asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate anti-consumer behavior in the oil and gas market.

Energy Capital and Power:
Nov. 10, 2021

Geopolitics of Energy in Africa

As the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town offers global and African stakeholders the opportunity to engage, network, facilitate deals, and drive the continent into a new era of enhanced energy and economic growth. Accordingly, an energy dialogue session on the geopolitics of energy in Africa aimed to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the African energy industry, proposing an integrated and cooperative approach to the continent’s energy sector expansion. Moderated by Dr Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president, SVB Energy International, panel participants included Dr Lars Schernikau; Erik Prince, Founder, Frontier Service Group; and C. Derek Campbell, Executive Chairman, African Metals Group. With Africa’s rich hydrocarbon resources comprising a predominant topic in global energy dialogue, the speakers emphasized the role that oil and gas will continue to play in Africa.

Marketplace:
Aug. 12, 2021

Why politicians have little sway over gas prices

But squeezing OPEC rarely works. It’s a powerful cartel that doesn’t have to lose too much sleep over rising gas prices in the United States. American politicians also have limited control at home, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of the oil and gas consultancy SVB Energy International. “So, the U.S. government has no say really on how much the oil production should be,” she said. That’s up to private energy firms, meaning Texas Gov. Abbott can’t just tell oil companies in the Permian Basin to start pumping to increase supply.

Bloomberg:
July 2, 2021

OPEC Oil Output Surged in June to Satisfy Recovering Demand

Last month all but one of OPEC’s 13 members increased supplies, the survey showed. Saudi Arabia -- which made the lion’s share of cutbacks when the market was ailing -- bolstered output by 490,000 barrels a day to 8.95 million a day. Even countries that have wrestled with sanctions, such as Iran, or economic and industrial crisis like Venezuela, found a way to add barrels in June, according to the survey. Figures are based on ship-tracking data, information from officials, and estimates from consultants including Rystad Energy AS, JBC Energy GmbH and SVB Energy International LLC.

Marketplace:
June 30, 2021

Oil producers look at output levels as demand returns

OPEC has been meeting more frequently since last year as the global pandemic wreaked havoc on oil demand. That way, the group could be ready to shift production quickly as needed when economies came back online, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy. “I would say the key word is predictability,” she said. “They tried to create a predictable market by giving a schedule until 2022 of how OPEC is going to increase its production.”

NASDAQ:
June 21, 2021

Iran stores more oil on tankers as it counts days to enter markets

Iranian officials are optimistic they can increase production quickly, and one senior Iranian oil ministry official said earlier this month that most output could be restored within a month. Observers expect it will take a little more time. "We do expect a recovery of 500,000 to 700,000 bpd within 3 months from sanctions removal, and total 1 to 1.2 million bpd of oil production recovery within 6-12 months from sanctions removal," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Marketplace:
June 21, 2021

Pain at the pump? Think Iran.

Going into Iran’s election last week, talks between the government in Tehran and the Joe Biden administration were moving toward a deal to patch up their differences, revive the nuclear accord and let Iran export oil again. But the newly elected president, Ebrahim Raisi, and his allies “are very skeptical of U.S. intentions,” said Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consulting firm SVB Energy International. Since Friday’s election, the price of crude has risen $3 to about $75 a barrel. “Traders are having lower expectations for Iran oil,” Vakhshouri said. Meanwhile, Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are keeping supplies tight as international demand is red-hot.

Reuters:
June 21, 2021

Iran stores more oil on tankers as it counts days to enter markets

Iranian officials are optimistic they can increase production quickly, and one senior Iranian oil ministry official said earlier this month that most output could be restored within a month. Observers expect it will take a little more time. “We do expect a recovery of 500,000 to 700,000 bpd within 3 months from sanctions removal, and total 1 to 1.2 million bpd of oil production recovery within 6-12 months from sanctions removal,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Reuters:
June 21, 2021

Iran stores more oil on tankers as it counts days to enter markets

“We do expect a recovery of 500,000 to 700,000 bpd within 3 months from sanctions removal, and total 1 to 1.2 million bpd of oil production recovery within 6-12 months from sanctions removal,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Bloomberg:
June 20, 2021

Raisi Victory Will Delay Return of Iran’s Oil, Analysts Say

The election of a conservative cleric as Iran’s president will probably hold up the lifting of U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s energy exports, said analysts including Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International LLC. “The election of a hard-liner delays the expectation of a rapid return of Iranian oil,” she said.

Marketplace:
June 8, 2021

Some traders bet on oil hitting $100 per barrel as economies thaw

One of the hot bets in commodities markets is that crude oil will jump in price, from about $70 a barrel, where it sits today, to $100. We haven’t seen triple digits in the U.S. price benchmark known as West Texas Intermediate since 2014, but as economies thaw out, energy use will rise. In North America and Western Europe, around 4 out of 10 people have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. “All of these have contributed to more mobility, and more movement,” said consultant Sara Vakhshouri at SVB Energy International. Many of us still work from home, but Vakhshouri said driving is surging. “If you can travel by, let’s say, metro or train, you might prefer to travel in your own personal car because you feel it’s safer,” she said.

S&P Global Platts:
May 26, 2021

Iranian crude blends seen getting lighter to meet Chinese tastes

NIOC is "increasing the share of Iran Light in the export basket and will stop the export of Pars crude which is ultra-heavy," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consultancy SVB Energy International, who closely follows Iran's oil industry. "During the sanctions period, they have been exporting different grades and cocktails [blends] of oil, based on their customer's needs [that was requested by Chinese refineries]. Iran also consumed lighter crude domestically during the sanctions," she added.

Reuters:
May 19, 2021

Iran's oil exports, on rising trend, drop in May as China buying ebbs

"The exports dropped to under 600,000 bpd from May 1 until now," said Sara Vakhshouri of consultant SVB International. "Exports in May could have a spike in the days to come," she said, if the nuclear deal is revived. SVB had estimated April exports at about 750,000 bpd.

Bloomberg:
May 16, 2021

Iran Gears Up for Return to Oil Market as U.S. Talks Advance

“Even if the sanctions are not removed, depending on their ability to sell oil in the gray market, they will increase their production further,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of consultancy SVB Energy International LLC in Washington. Engineers at NIOC have been rotating crude production between different fields to maintain sufficient reservoir pressure, according to officials at the company, who asked not to be identified. The procedure is crucial for keeping up output levels. Gas injections at older oil fields in the south of the country are playing a similar role, SVB’s Vakhshouri said.

Wall Street Journal:
April 15, 2021

Iran Boosts Oil Exports Amid Nuclear Deal Talks

Rising Iranian oil sales could strengthen Tehran’s hand in negotiations now under way with Western powers, if they lessen the financial stress from U.S.- and European-imposed sanctions. With ready Chinese buyers of its crude, Iran has less incentive for the “gradual removal of sanctions in return for compliance to the nuclear agreement,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based consulting firm SVB, which follows Tehran’s exports closely.

Bloomberg:
April 1, 2021

OPEC Supply Rises as Iran Rebound Complicates Balancing Task

While Iran remains subject to U.S. sanctions, buyers in China have shown greater enthusiasm during the new administration of President Joe Biden, who seeks better relations with Tehran than his predecessor. Shipments to the Asian nation have surged so substantially that vessels bearing Iranian crude are clogging up Chinese ports. The country’s exports surpassed 1 million barrels a day this month, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International LLC.

Reuters:
March 29, 2021

China's Iran oil imports seen hitting new high in March, curbing OPEC output options

Separately, a trade source familiar with Iranian ship movements pegged China-bound cargoes at 30 million barrels for March, while Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, estimated Iran oil exports this month exceeded 1 million bpd.

The Wall Street Journal:
March 19, 2021

China Buys More Iranian and Venezuelan Oil, in a Test for Biden

“If it sells 1 million barrels a day at current prices, Iran has no incentive to negotiate,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based SVB Energy International and an expert on Iran's oil industry.

Reuters:
Feb. 15, 2021

Iran oil output faces race against time as U.S. sanctions linger

“Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.S. and major energy companies are already way ahead of Iran in securing a large portion of oil market share in the medium and long-term,” said Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International.

AFP:
Feb. 11, 2021

Gas prices up on renewed crude oil demand, not US policy

Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consultancy at SVB Energy International, explained that “because of the pandemic, lower demand, lower oil prices and severe Capex (capital expenditures) cut among the producers, US natural gas production and LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports reduced,” which, in turn, all contributed to higher prices.

S&P Global Platts:
Feb. 9, 2021

Iran activates game plan for oil comeback in 2021 in test for Biden administration

The government recently ordered its domestic oil operators to ramp up operations, largely from the South Azadegan and West Karun fields. Pre-sanctions crude production capacity was about 4 million b/d. "Iran's oil fields and regional producing companies have already received a planned schedule and orders to increase their production, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consultancy SVB Energy International. "If there are less export restrictions and Iran could gradually increase its export, we can expect a gradual output rise of about 120,000-150,000 b/d each month, in the coming months."

Reuters:
Jan. 26, 2021

Iran's oil exports rise in January despite sanctions - trackers

Iran’s exports have shrunk since Trump in 2018 withdrew the United States from a nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions. New President Joe Biden has said if Tehran resumed compliance with the deal, Washington would too. Figures from SVB International and two other firms that estimate Iranian supply by tracking tankers indicated exports are rising. SVB International estimated Iranian crude exports increased to 710,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December from 490,000 bpd in October, and that shipments and production so far in January were moving up. “Iran and customers are expecting an easier approach from the Biden administration,” said Sara Vakshouri of SVB. “Iran has already started increasing its production and exports in anticipation of negotiations with the U.S.”

Bloomberg:
Jan. 25, 2021

Iran Oil Exports Creep Up as Trump’s Maximum Pressure Fades

Iranian crude remains subject to American sanctions and exports are still just a fraction of levels seen three years ago, before Donald Trump cracked down to cajole Tehran into renegotiating a nuclear pact. But as new president Joe Biden seeks to revive the existing accord, firms that monitor Iran’s output -- Petro-Logistics SA, Kpler Ltd. and SVB International LLC -- have seen it creep higher. “ “The output and export increase is an anticipation of Biden’s softer approach toward Iran,” said Sara Vakhshouri, SVB’s founder and president.

Bloomberg:
Jan. 22, 2021

Iran Says It’s Reviving Oil Output to Pre-Sanctions Levels

Iranian output has been edging higher recently, analysts who track tanker loadings say. Petro-Logistics SA in Geneva estimates supplies have gained about 50,000 barrels a day in January, and SVB Energy International LLC sees an increase of about 36,000 a day.

Marketplace:
Jan. 19, 2021

French oil giant Total going big on solar energy

Energy industry consultant Sara Vakhshouri said this particular partnership with Adani Green Energy makes a lot of sense for Total. After all, India is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for energy demand. “If you’re an international energy company and you are looking to be ahead of your peers in the game to seize a huge chunk of market share, India is where you want to be,” Vakhshouri said. She said the other place multinational energy companies are looking to invest is southern Africa, because, like India, that region is moving fast toward increasing electricity access to more citizens.

S&P Global Platts:
Jan. 4, 2021

Iran says it restarts 20% uranium enrichment as tensions simmer in Persian Gulf

"Biden's energy policies are targeting oil demand and his administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, which is a political rival to some of the largest producers of the OPEC and directly threatens their national interest and market share," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

S&P Global Platts:
Dec. 23, 2020

Iran pushes for a 2021 oil comeback, but sanctions will be hard to shake

The country exported around 585,000 b/d of crude and condensate in November, up about 95,000 b/d from October, according to Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB Energy International and closely tracks Iranian production.

The Wall Street Journal:
Dec. 15, 2020

Iranian Oil Exports Rise as Tehran Circumvents Sanctions, Finds New Buyers

SVB International in Washington said Iran exported 585,000 barrels of crude oil a day in November, up from 230,000 earlier in 2020. Petro-Logistics saw an increase in exports to about 447,000 barrels a day, from 222,000.

Marketplace:
Dec. 2, 2020

OPEC delays and spending cuts: Uncertainty abounds in the oil and gas industry

“The current meeting of OPEC is very sensitive and very hard for the members to come to a consensus about what would be exactly the supply and demand prospects in the first quarter of next year,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. Iran and Libya are also currently producing more oil than was expected, which has led to an even greater supply glut.

Marketplace:
Oct. 19, 2020

As cases of COVID-19 climb, oil prices face a longer recovery

And consultant Sara Vakhshouri at SVB Energy International said the minister’s audience is not just market analysts and traders; it’s algorithms, big-data programs that incorporate key words in the public conversation to generate price forecasts “So Prince Abdul Aziz is talking not only to me and you and traders in the market, he is also talking to a computer, to the artificial intelligence,” Vakhshouri said. “And this is something fascinating.” He wants them all to get the message that crude prices will be going up, Vakhshouri said.

S&P Global Platts:
Sept. 9, 2020

US ELECTIONS: Biden win could lead to surge in Iranian oil exports by 2022

"Having Iran's oil back to the market means that OPEC+ has to cut its output even more if they want to have a balanced market," Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International in Washington, said. "The market is very sensitive to any additional supplies that could enter the market, including the Iranian oil. This is given the fact that already OPEC+ has cut its production to a historical level, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the market was already oversupplied." Vakhshouri said Iran does not face many technical hurdles to increase production to pre-sanctions levels. "In fact, the country has already increased its production capacity from some of its fields in the West Karun region," she said.

Bloomberg:
July 2, 2020

As Gas Prices Sag, Nigeria Plans to Pump More to Global Markets

“Access to the market and shipping costs obviously is something that is going to be very important for all the major players,” Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of consulting firm SVB Energy International, said on a webinar Wednesday. “Lower liquefaction costs, feedgas” also matter.

Financial Post:
July 2, 2020

As Gas Prices Sag, Nigeria Plans to Pump More to Global Markets Author of the article:

“Access to the market and shipping costs obviously is something that is going to be very important for all the major players,” Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of consulting firm SVB Energy International, said on a webinar Wednesday. “Lower liquefaction costs, feedgas” also matter.

Business Ghana:
June 13, 2020

Treating Asset Protection as an Investment

“Global lockdowns have had a severe impact on both prices and demand. This double shock – in which both prices and demand collapsed – has implications for both oil producer and consumer countries,” said Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, Founder & President of SVB Energy International. “African countries are facing challenges to security of demand, since global consumption has been significantly hit. There are expectations that by the end of this year, demand will increase further and countries will start racking up their exports. But in the case of major African producers like Nigeria, we are seeing that they have not yet complied with OPEC production cuts.

CNBC Africa:
June 12, 2020

Treating Asset Protection as an Investment

“Global lockdowns have had a severe impact on both prices and demand. This double shock – in which both prices and demand collapsed – has implications for both oil producer and consumer countries,” said Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, Founder & President of SVB Energy International. “African countries are facing challenges to security of demand, since global consumption has been significantly hit. There are expectations that by the end of this year, demand will increase further and countries will start racking up their exports. But in the case of major African producers like Nigeria, we are seeing that they have not yet complied with OPEC production cuts.

Pulse Nigeria:
June 12, 2020

Treating Asset Protection as an Investment

“Global lockdowns have had a severe impact on both prices and demand. This double shock – in which both prices and demand collapsed – has implications for both oil producer and consumer countries,” said Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, Founder & President of SVB Energy International. “African countries are facing challenges to security of demand, since global consumption has been significantly hit. There are expectations that by the end of this year, demand will increase further and countries will start racking up their exports. But in the case of major African producers like Nigeria, we are seeing that they have not yet complied with OPEC production cuts.

Reuters:
May 14, 2020

Hit by coronavirus and Trump, Iran's oil exports dwindle to record low

“Finding customers is not easy,” said Sara Vakhshouri of consulting firm SVB Energy International. “Currently there is a huge oversupply and there is plenty of low-priced oil available in the market.” Iran and fellow OPEC member Venezuela, which is also under sanctions, have had to compete with discounts offered by other producers like Saudi Arabia, as well as pay commission to those that buy and sell their crude, she said. “If you add the discounts to the commissions and the operational costs, there won’t be any profit,” Vakhshouri added.

The National:
May 7, 2020

Oil slides and equity markets continue to fall as Opec+ deal collapses

"Russia chose the perfect timing to decide to end the production cut agreement with Opec, as currently prices are very close to the shale break-even prices and a lack of Opec+ agreement will have even further downward pressure on the prices and ultimately on shale production," said Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy. The collapse of the deal and the subsequent squeeze on prices are likely to affect the ability of shale producers to secure financing from the banks. "Many shale producers are highly exposed to the current low oil prices," Ms Vakhshouri said.

The National:
April 21, 2020

US oil prices rebound but slip again into negative territory after record plunge

Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy said the negative market reaction to US crude was not indicative of the alliance’s efforts to balance the markets. “This doesn’t reflect the Opec++ cuts, which are effective from May 1. Prices for June delivery are higher than May delivery,” she said. “Also, the huge US oil price collapse [against others] is related to the quality of this oil, which is light and mostly yields jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel.” Demand for these refined petroleum products has been hit the hardest by mobility restrictions in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reuters:
March 31, 2020

OPEC March oil output rises from 2009 low after supply pact collapse

Iran is also seeing a drop in gasoline use because of the coronavirus outbreak, said analyst Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International, compounding the impact of sanctions on supply. “Iran’s oil production has dropped to below 2 million bpd,” she said. The survey average put Iranian output at 2.02 million bpd, down 70,000 bpd.

S&P Global Platts:
March 30, 2020

Saudi Arabia says will raise oil exports further in May, in face of coronavirus hit to demand

Saudi refineries have been running about 2.2 million b/d of crude the last few months, according to JODI. If runs remain at the same levels and the kingdom eliminates the crude it uses for electricity generation, that would imply about 10.1 million b/d of crude for export. "It is not clear if the kingdom's production after April 1 is 12 million b/d of crude oil or if it includes condensate and NGLs," said Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB Energy and closely follows the Saudi oil sector. "Also it's unclear for how long Saudi Aramco intends to produce 12 million b/d."

S&P Platts:
March 19, 2020

US lawmakers press Saudis to stabilize oil prices, but aren't likely to get any satisfaction

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said the danger for Trump is if prices stay low, while demand does not recover because of the coronavirus, the US economy could be seriously damaged heading into the election. "The market is still not sure how low the prices could go and for how long," Vakhshouri said. "These are very important factors that could impact the US and Trump's response."

The National:
March 15, 2020

Spare capacity in oil market set to fall as producers ramp up supply

Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy also dismissed concerns about limited spare capacity moving prices higher "unless a supply disruption takes large volumes of oil for a longer period of time out of the market".

The National:
March 12, 2020

Oil slumps to 4-year lows and markets plunge as US suspends air travel from Europe to contain pandemic

Mr Trump also clarified in a tweet that the movement restrictions apply only to people and will not affect trade. "Trump’s suspension of EU flights to and from the US will contribute to the demand shock caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and will have a further downward impact on the global oil demand in the next 30 days," said Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy.

Nikkei:
March 10, 2020

OPEC「落日」 ロシア、打倒シェールへ転換 変わる中東 「石油後」の足音(上)

「ロシアの狙いは米国のシェールオイル企業に打撃を与えることだ」 米調査会社SVBエナジー・インターナショナルのサラ・バクショウリ社長は、4月以降の石油輸出国機構(OPEC)との協調減産強化を拒否したロシアの判断を「賢い」と評価する。原油価格が下がり、シェール企業の損益分岐点に近づいた現状をみて、ロシアはサウジアラビアが率いるOPECとの決別を決めたというわけだ。

Bloomberg Markets:
March 4, 2020

OPEC+ Expected to Agree on Output Cut Extension, SVB Energy Says

Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International, discusses the outlook for oil. OPEC+ found itself stuck in a familiar place after a first day of talks, with Russia and Saudi Arabi split over whether it should deepen production cuts to offset the huge demand hit from the coronavirus epidemic. Vakhshouri speaks with Shery Ahn and Haidi Stroud-Watts on "Bloomberg Markets."

Market Place:
Jan. 3, 2020

After the U.S. attack in Iraq, how high will oil go?

Sara Vakhshouri, president at SVB Energy International, thinks Iran’s reprisals will begin in Iraq. “The first [location] would be Iraq because Iran does not want to enter into a direct war with the rest of the world,” Vakhshouri said. Iraq has oil fields and facilities run by American companies, and like the U.S. Embassy, they appear to be taking precautions with their employees. “We have heard through our network that yes, some of the U.S. companies have already started calling their staff out,” Vakhshouri added. Vakhshouri said Iran is unpredictable in where and when it attacks, so it will be a guessing game.

S&P Platts:
Jan. 3, 2020

Iran vows to avenge death of general; oil market on high alert

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International said the "Qassim Soleimani risk premium" could "potentially" be higher than the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities. "The ambiguity and uncertainty over Iran's retaliatory actions create a huge uncertainty and risk factor for the oil prices and market," said Vakhshouri. "Iran likes to surprise its adversaries and has a habit of attacking its enemies from an angle that they have never expected it, hence it is not easy to clearly expect what would be Iran's retaliatory actions and their impact on the short-term and long-term oil production and supply flow from the Middle East," she added.

Atlantic Council:
Jan. 3, 2020

Iran’s “living martyr” was ready to die, but blindsided oil markets must face new uncertainty

The immediate market reaction and price surge of 4 percent, even before Iranian officials called Soleimani’s assassination an act of war against Iran and called for a “harsh retaliation,” indicates that the common sense about this incident is that the US operation did not make the world and the Middle East region—which is responsible for significant volumes of global oil and gas production—a safer place but rather increased the instability and insecurity in the region. To have a better understanding of the “Qasem Soleimani risk premium” on oil pricing, we should realize the magnitude of the effect his assassination has on the security of the Middle East region and the flow of oil. The “Qasem Soleimani risk premium” on the oil market and prices could potentially be higher than the Aramco attack and could affect prices for longer. Ambiguity over Iran’s retaliatory actions create a huge uncertainty and risk factor for oil prices and the market. Unlike the Aramco attack where the magnitude of the damage and disruption was clear, there is no evidence or clear understanding of what the short-term and long-term impacts of Soleimani’s assassination on the oil market will be. Obviously if the region remains calm and the market doesn’t see any harsh retaliations, prices will adjust and balance themselves toward the dominant market narrative of oversupply and lower demand growth. However, the assassination of Soleimani has added a huge uncertainty to the market as it’s not easy to calculate Iran’s retaliatory actions. Just consider the scenario that the Iranian government vows to remove US forces from Iraq through its proxies in this country. The goal of removing US forces from Iraq is not an easy game but rather a complex series of destructions and conflicts in this country. A scenario like this not only could damage energy facilities but could ultimately hurt Iraqi production if international companies start evacuating their staff due to security alerts.

POLITICO:
Jan. 3, 2020

4 things to watch in oil markets after the U.S. strike

"Iran likes to surprise its adversaries and has a habit of attacking its enemies [from] an angle that they have never expected it," Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consulting firm SVB Energy International, said in an email. "We could expect anything from [an] attack on U.S. interests and military bases in the region to escalation of conflicts in the Persian Gulf," including attacks on energy facilities, threats to oil shipping routes or physical or cyber attacks against the electricity grids in its neighboring countries that are heavily dependent on electricity for their food and water security.

OPEC Agrees to Deeper Cuts Ahead of Aramco IPO:
Dec. 5, 2019

OPEC Agrees to Deeper Cuts Ahead of Aramco IPO

The crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed, agreed on the cuts in a face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of a Formula One championship Saturday in Abu Dhabi, one person said. But Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban spoiled some of the positive impact by leaking the plan the same day. Oil prices increased by less than 1% on the news as OPEC experts doubted the decision would lead to actual reductions. With the coalition already producing 450,000 barrels a day below requirements, “this is playing with facts and not the cut,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based consulting firm SVB Energy International. “It’s basically an assurance to the market that the current overall output will continue for the next three more months.”

S&P Global Platts:
Dec. 4, 2019

Iraq says proposal to deepen OPEC+ cuts to 1.6 mil b/d to be discussed in Vienna

Russia is the main non-OPEC participant in the deal, and OPEC has taken great pains to keep it on board to increase the coalition's market clout, despite its lackluster quota compliance. "Russian producers are already struggling with maintaining their compliance with the current agreement, particularly now that the cold season is approaching," said Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB Energy. "Further cuts from current agreed level at this meeting are not easy for Russia to commit to."

S&P Global Platts:
Nov. 15, 2019

Iran hikes gasoline prices amid cash crunch from US sanctions

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said US sanctions, along with International Maritime Organization emissions rules, were expected to cause a reduction of refinery capacity in Iran or sales of high-sulfur fuel oil at large discounts. "Higher gasoline prices could help with offsetting this refinery loss," Vakhshouri said.

S&P Global Platts:
Oct. 11, 2019

Iran's oil exports face new security threat

President of energy consultancy SVB Energy International Sara Vakhshouri said these attacks suggest that Iran and its adversaries have entered into "a tit for tat war" by targeting each other's energy facilities. "The mistrust between Iran and its Arab neighbors could intensify the tensions in the region," she said. "The potential miscalculations from each side poses a significant threat against the security of oil and gas supply and flow from their region and have an upward impact on the energy market and prices."

S&P Global Platts:
Oct. 9, 2019

Iran eyeing more attacks on oil supply as part of sanctions relief push: analysts

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said that Iran could also target UAE's electric grid system, as part of a physical or cyberattack. "Because of the US zero export policy, Iran's strategic patience has come to an end," Vakhshouri said. "Instead, they're creating crisis to manage another crisis." A potential follow-up to the September 14 attack on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities appears to be a question of when, not if with analysts. The timing seems to depend on US willingness to ease sanctions, something some analysts see as a possibility despite repeated pledges from the Trump administration to exert a "maximum pressure" campaign on Tehran.

Wall Street Journal:
Sept. 16, 2019

OPEC, Russia Hold Off Pumping More Oil After Saudi Attack

“There are units that were completely destroyed and have to be rebuilt,” one Aramco executive said. Still, Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington, D.C., consulting firm SVB Energy International, said, “The Kingdom has enough domestic crude oil inventories to cover its production suspension of 5.7 (million barrels a day) for almost 30 days.” President Trump provided some relief late Sunday by authorizing the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed to stabilize energy markets. The president also said he had “informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

Oil Price:
Sept. 16, 2019

Oil Prices Close 15% Higher On Record Trading Day

Immediately after the attack, Saudi Arabia suggested that operations could resume as soon as Monday. “We should be able to have 2 million barrels a day back online…by tomorrow,” a person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. But as the weekend wore on, a quick turnaround looked increasingly unlikely. An extended outage would drive up prices substantially. The oil market has gone from oversupplied to under-supplied overnight. “The Kingdom has enough domestic crude oil inventories to cover its production suspension of 5.7 (million barrels a day) for almost 30 days,” Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, told the Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo Finance:
Sept. 15, 2019

Oil May Jump at Least $5 a Barrel After Saudi Arabia Attack

“We do NOT expect a shock in the market and prices as an effect of the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, because the market is fully supplied,” Sara Vakhshouri, analyst at SVB Energy, said by email. The price rise Monday will be based on uncertainty over damage and duration of the outage, and fear of the possibility of repeat events, she said

Bloomberg:
Sept. 15, 2019

Oil May Jump at Least $5 a Barrel After Saudi Arabia Attack

“We do NOT expect a shock in the market and prices as an effect of the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, because the market is fully supplied,” Sara Vakhshouri, analyst at SVB Energy, said by email. The price rise Monday will be based on uncertainty over damage and duration of the outage, and fear of the possibility of repeat events, she said

English:
Sept. 15, 2019

Saudi Arabia Has Enough Inventory to Cover 30-Day Suspension, Says SVB Energy’s President

Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president at SVB Energy International, discusses the drone attack on a Saudi Arabia oil plant and its implications for oil markets. She speaks on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The National:
Sept. 14, 2019

Saudi Arabia's new energy minister brings old school diplomacy to Opec

The approach was very different to Khalid Al Falih, an ex-Saudi Aramco chief executive who led the group through a difficult patch after oil crashed to below $30 in 2016, forming alliances with non-members, particularly Russia, as they worked together to counter the US shale dominance of the industry. Mr Al Falih would talk to the markets, taking an almost central bank governor approach, using terms such as "whatever it takes" to address issues critical to the industry. According to Sara Vakhshouri, of SVB Energy, Prince Abdulaziz takes Opec back to a more consensual decision-making process, rather than having Saudi Arabia or Russia unilaterally taking policy decisions for members.

S&P Global Platts:
Sept. 12, 2019

OPEC+ members pledge to do better on quota compliance, but no new oil cuts

"'Full compliance' was the mantra of this JMMC meeting as an important component of maintaining the agreement," said Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the energy consultancy SVB Energy and attended the proceedings.

Business Insider:
Sept. 12, 2019

Trump is reportedly considering throwing a $15 billion lifeline to Iran

Sanctions against Iran have largely crippled its economy and isolated it from world markets. Iran, which heavily relies on its export of 2.3 million barrels of oil a day, saw this number plummet to 1.1 million barrels in March, according to SVB Energy International. Iran's currency, the rial, has also sunk to the US dollar, forcing the country to enact regulatory changes and to create numerous exchange rates to curb the black market. As the US enacted more sanctions against what it called a "wide range of terrorists and their supporters" — including Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard — the Iranian government said it would not negotiate unless the sanctions were lifted. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced that the country plans to restart production of highly enriched uranium, a move observers say is a step toward a nuclear weapon.

Bloomberg:
Sept. 7, 2019

Iran’s Dark Tanker Fleet Poses Oil World’s Biggest Mystery

The actual volume that Iran is selling for cash is probably even lower, according to Sara Vakhshouri, head of consultants SVB Energy International in Washington, D.C. Some cargoes are sold to repay debts to China, and others are moved into so-called bonded storage there without passing customs, meaning they’re still owned by Iran. As a result, total sales in July may have been as little as 100,000 barrels a day, she said.

Here and Now, NPR:
Aug. 21, 2019

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Stoking Arms Race In The Strait Of Hormuz

Tensions have been on the rise in the Gulf since the U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil exports. After Iran seized a British tanker last month, the U.S. launched a naval mission to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial choke point between the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean through which about one fifth of the world’s oil travels. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson talks with Sara Vakhshouri (@SVakhshouri), founder and president of SVB Energy International, a strategic energy consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and Dubai.

Yahoo Finance:
July 31, 2019

Oil Trapped In Narrow Price Band

At the same time, Iran’s oil exports continue to fall. According to Reuters, Iranian shipments may have plunged as low as 100,000 bpd in July – another massive decline – down from 400,000 bpd in June. The precise figure is up for debate, especially since some tankers can turn off their transponders to avoid detection. But it’s safe to say that exports are in decline. “We can’t be sure that all of this capacity has been sold in July,” Sara Vakhshouri, an analyst at SVB Energy International, told Reuters. “Also, it’s important to note that some of the deliveries mostly to China are based on IOU contracts and are not new sales.” Iran shipped as much as 2.5 mb/d prior to the return of sanctions in early 2018.

S&P Global Platts:
July 11, 2019

US to sanction China if Iranian crude trade continues: State

Administration officials believe the push for "maximum pressure" on Iran is being weakened by ongoing crude flows between Iran and China. China continues to import about 150,000 b/d to 220,000 b/d of Iranian crude, much of it in the form of debt repayment, according to Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Council on Foreign Relations:
July 3, 2019

Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Ever-Complex Geopolitics of Oil

As Mideast oil expert Sara Vakhshouri wrote in a report for the Atlantic Council in 2015, “Most of Iran’s oil fields are old and mature, which means they require further investment and treatments like gas reinjection, in order to maintain current production levels. The country’s oil wells are mostly in the second half of their lives, and are facing continued natural depletion of production capacity at the rate of 8-11 percent per year. It is estimated that Iranian oil fields lose between 300,000 to 500,000 b/d of natural reduction every year due to maturity of fields.”

S&P Global Platts:
June 30, 2019

OPEC and allies set to consider nine-month oil cut extension

Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB Energy International, said the unveiling of the nine-month proposal by Putin highlights Russia's influence over OPEC. The announcement "undermines the role of other OPEC members in the policy making and major decisions that are taken by OPEC," Vakhshouri said.

Market Place:
June 24, 2019

What if the U.S. stopped protecting the Strait of Hormuz?

“Still, the U.S. is importing from the Middle East, but the dependency is not that significant,” said Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy. She said that reduction in oil imports is thanks, in large part, to fracking, which has boosted domestic oil production. Vakhshouri said a disruption could cause a slight uptick in gas prices here. But for China, Japan and India, a disruption could result in a legitimate energy shortage. That’s why Vakhshouri thinks the administration has some leverage. “They’re suggesting, ‘Why [should] our taxpayers … pay for the security of oil that goes to India or to China? They need to contribute,'” she said. “But I don’t think they’re suggesting that the U.S. should totally leave the Strait of Hormuz.” But Trump did write, “All of these countries should be protecting their own ships.” It’s unclear what the consequences would be if the United States did pull out of the strait.

S&P Global Platts:
June 18, 2019

US presses other countries to police Strait of Hormuz

But that price jump was largely due to the US-China trade dispute and uncertainty over future talks and the impact of tariffs on the world economy, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. "Historically, the oil prices would react to such an incident in a very hypersensitive matter," Vakhshouri told Platts. "This time, the market has kept its calm which is historically very ununusual. US shale oil production, export capacity and a high level of inventories gives the market the signal that there is enough supply."

Gulf News:
June 9, 2019

Oil to be under pressure due to US, China trade tensions

Meanwhile Iran, which is under US sanctions exported about 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of oil and condensate in May, according to Dr Sara Vakhshouri, President of Washington based SVB Energy International. “Most of Iran’s oil sales and delivers in the month of May took place in the grey market through middlemen,” she said. Iranian oil production in May was at 2.35 mbd (million barrels per day), down from 2.6 mbd in April.

Wall Street Journal:
May 31, 2019

U.S. Delays Petrochemical Sanctions on Iran

"We heard from different sources that Iran exported 500,000-600,000 barrels a day of oil and condensate in May," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. By comparison, exports stood at around 1.1 million barrels a day in March, Ms. Vakhshouri said last month, and at 2.5 million barrels a year ago when president Donald Trump said he would place sanctions on Iran. Iran received no purchase contracts from its formal clients during the month of May, including from China, Ms Vakhshouri said. Some of the cargo booked in May--as much as 200,000 to 320,000 barrels a day--could be part of debt repayment contracts with China and India for past work in Iran, she said. Most of Iran's oil sales and deliveries in the month of May took place in the grey market through middlemen, she said.

Oil and Gas Journal:
May 21, 2019

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices mixed on geopolitics

Sara Vakshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said OPEC monitoring committee members are trying to determine Iran’s oil sales given US oil sanctions against that country. “On the other side, the global inventories, particularly US inventories, are high and are still rising, which suggests there is no lack of supplies and the market is somehow oversupplied,” Vakshouri said. Meanwhile, oil investors are concerned about possible disruption to oil flow from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf following recent damage to Saudi tankers and other infrastructure. Saudi officials have called the tanker attacks an “act of sabotage” but did not say who was responsible.

Gulf News:
May 19, 2019

UAE, Saudi oil ministers say crude supplies are plentiful

The global inventories particularly in the US inventories are high and are still raising, which suggests that there is no lack of supplies and the market is somehow oversupplied, according to Dr Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International. “The main challenge for the members is to find out how much Iran’s formal and especially the informal oil sales in the grey market would be.”

Bloomberg:
May 18, 2019

OPEC+ Has More Work to Do Because Inventories Are Rising, Minister Says

The global inventories particularly in the U.S. inventories are high and are still rising, which suggests that there is no lack of supplies,” said Sara Vakhshouri, head of Washington, D.C.-based consultant SVB Energy International. “During this JMMC the main challenge for the members is to find out how much Iran’s formal and especially the informal oil sales in the grey market would be,” Vakhshouri said.

Reuters:
May 17, 2019

Iran's crude exports slide to 500,000 bpd or less: sources

The Iranian official, who is familiar with oil policy, had forecast exports could drop to 700,000 bpd but possibly as low as 500,000 bpd. The OPEC source said they are likely to continue at about 400,000 to 600,000 bpd. Some analysts expect May shipments to be even less. Sara Vakhshouri, of consultancy SVB Energy International, expected exports between 200,000 bpd and 550,000 bpd. “Iran already has plenty of stored oil and condensate in China,” she said. “So we don’t expect a significant shipment of oil in the month of May.”

Fortune:
May 17, 2019

Oil Prices Are Being Hit By The Perfect Storm—And Laughing It Off

The Gulf region produces more than a third of the world’s oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so the natural assumption would be that prices would spike. Nonetheless, “prices have remained calm, and didn’t show the usual historical reaction to such incidents,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, D.C.

Reuters:
May 17, 2019

Iran's crude exports slide to 500,000 bpd or less: sources

The Iranian official, who is familiar with oil policy, had forecast exports could drop to 700,000 bpd but possibly as low as 500,000 bpd. The OPEC source said they are likely to continue at about 400,000 to 600,000 bpd. Some analysts expect May shipments to be even less. Sara Vakhshouri, of consultancy SVB Energy International, expected exports between 200,000 bpd and 550,000 bpd. “Iran already has plenty of stored oil and condensate in China,” she said. “So we don’t expect a significant shipment of oil in the month of May.”

Oil & Gas Journal:
May 14, 2019

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices fall awaiting Persian Gulf news

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said that repeated incidents in major oil production and transportation areas “creates uncertainty and panic in the market,” adding, “Particularly now that market expects much lower exports from Iran (and Venezuela) due to US sanctions.” Vakhshouri noted Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are withholding some production capacity as previously agreed upon to support oil prices. Some non-OPEC producers also are involved in the production-cut targets. “We should also keep in mind that most of the US supplies are light crude oil and can’t…supply market demands for heavy crude oil, which is mostly produced in the Persian Gulf region and passes through the Strait of Hormuz,” Vakhshouri said.

Wall Street Journal:
May 14, 2019

Attacks to Raise Security, Insurance Costs for Persian Gulf Oil Shipments Oil prices climb 1.2% after drone attacks dama

The attacks heightened worries about global oil supply amid petroleum-production outages because of unrest in Venezuela, a civil war in Libya and sanctions on Iran. Oil prices initially rose in response to the incidents Monday but fell when traders focused attention back on China’s trade dispute with the U.S. Brent oil prices recently climbed 1.2% to $71.10 a barrel after the Saudi pipeline attack and after a U.S. official claimed Iran was likely behind the tanker attack. “If the market starts believing that Iran was behind this sabotage and such incidents could possibly happen again in the same scale or larger, the prices could increase even further,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based oil consulting firm SVB Energy International.

S&P Global Platts:
May 13, 2019

Ship sabotage in UAE adds to Gulf oil supply risks

Fujairah is one of the world's biggest bunkering hubs and lies just outside of the Strait of Hormuz, giving it a strategic location for oil trading. The UAE has a pipeline that it could divert crude to Fujairah in the event that the strait is blocked. The Habshan pipeline has a capacity of 1.5 million b/d, around half of the UAE's total crude production. But Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the SVB Energy International consultancy in Washington, said Sunday's incident "increases the vulnerability of the alternative route to the Strait of Hormuz."

Aljazeera English:
May 5, 2019

How will Trump's Iran oil gamble affect the global economy?

"Can the US substitute Iranian oil - really no, because the crude quality matters. Iranian crude oil is heavy. US crude oil is light," according to Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International. "The best match for Iranian crude oil is Saudi crude oil and the other closest is from the UAE." Before Saudi Arabia can increase its oil production, "they're waiting to see how much Iranian oil supply is going to be excluded from the market, how much Iran can smuggle or sell informally and if the US government would come up with some waivers formally or informally. So they will wait ... and then act accordingly to manage the market and substitute Iranian oil. "If we want Saudi Arabia to cover for Iranian oil with its spare capacity, then if there's any other event, the market would not have enough spare capacity to cover for that in an event of any major incident. And that would have significant impact on the [oil] prices," says Vakhshouri.

Financial Tribune:
May 4, 2019

Countries importing Iran oil could face economic sanctions

Dr Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International in Washington told Gulf News Iran might be able to smuggle 150,000 to 200,000 barrels per day of oil under the current sanctions but going beyond this number would be difficult. “It is very hard to hide oil cargoes at sea. Even if those middlemen that are not concerned about violating US sanctions purchase Iranian oil, no end user would want to process an oil that originated from Iran because of the risks involved and hence this limits Iran’s informal sales or smuggled oil.” She, however, said Iran has some ongoing oil delivery agreements as part of certain debts to China, and India and the US government might allow such deliveries to continue. “These are not sales. This could add between 200,000-350,000 barrels per day to what Iran would smuggle. We estimate about 120,000-200,000 barrels per day of debt payments to China and about 100,000-150,000 barrels per day of debt payment deliveries to India.”

Reuters:
May 3, 2019

Iran's oil exports to slide in May, but not to zero

One Iranian official familiar with oil policy said exports could drop to 700,000 bpd and as low as 500,000 bpd from May onwards. An OPEC source said Iranian exports would likely continue at about 400,000 to 600,000 bpd. Iran would likely be able to maintain some shipments for debt repayment to China and India, and into storage in China, and smuggle a limited extra amount as it did under previous sanctions, analyst Sara Vakhshouri said. “It’s important to note that zero oil sales in May doesn’t mean that there will not be oil deliveries to China or India in the month,” she said. “In total, Iran could export between 200,000 to 550,000 of oil. of which not all is sold oil.”

Oil and Gas Journal:
May 2, 2019

Benchmark crude prices hold steady on uncertain world oil supply

Under earlier international nuclear-related sanctions, Iran smuggled about 150,000-200,000 b/d to market, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC. “Iran might be able to smuggle the same amount of oil under the current sanctions but going significantly beyond this is hard to imagine,” Vakhshouri said. “It is very hard to hide oil cargos on the sea.” Even if middlemen unconcerned about violating US sanctions were to purchase the Iranian oil, no end user would want to process oil from Iran because of the risks involved with going against US sanctions, Vakhshouri said. She noted Iran has some ongoing oil delivery agreements as part of certain debt payment to China and India. She said US officials might allow these oil deliveries because they are not sales. She estimates 100,000-150,000 b/d of debt payment deliveries to India. Separately, Saudi Arabia has scheduled a technical meeting on May 19 in Jeddah to discuss with other producers how much oil should be produced to counterbalance the gap left by less Iranian oil on world markets. Meanwhile, US State Department officials suggest Saudi Arabia and Kuwait resolve a dispute over jointly held Khafji oil field in the Partitioned Neutral Zone, an area with onshore and offshore fields north of the Persian Gulf.

S&P Global Platts:
May 1, 2019

US push to zero Iran oil exports may be more like 500,000 b/d

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said as much as 200,000 b/d of Iranian crude may continue to be smuggled in violation of US sanctions, based on flows the last time full US sanctions were imposed. In addition, Vakhshouri said, as many as 200,000 b/d of shipments to China and as much as 150,000 in shipments to India made as debt payments may be allowed to continue.

Wall Street Journal:
May 1, 2019

Iran Vows to Resist U.S. Oil Ban as Its Exports Decline

None of Iran’s oil buyers—including China, which normally receives about 400,000 barrels a day from Tehran—have committed to buying cargo for shipment this month, said Sara Vakhshouri. Some oil could still be smuggled or moved to storage abroad. China and India could also receive some oil shipments in the coming months for repayment of port and oil-field work carried out in Iran, but only if the U.S. authorizes it, she said

Hellenic Shipping News:
April 30, 2019

China, US face off on Iranian crude flows, with risks to global economy

In addition, the US may choose not to sanction Iranian crude sent to China to repay debt, according to Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. Since these barrels would be used to repay debt and not generate revenue for Iran, the US may permit them, Vakhshouri said. She estimated that as much as 200,000 b/d of Iranian crude could be shipped to China in the form of debt repayment.

S&P Global Platts:
April 29, 2019

Does zero mean zero? Why Iranian oil exports won’t end as waivers expire

The Trump administration will not extend its Iran sanctions waivers to China, India and other buyers in an attempt to push Iran exports to zero. But Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, argues on today's Platts Capitol Crude that even with strict US sanctions coming into full force this week, as many as 550,000 b/d of Iranian crude could continue to be exported by Iran. Vakhshouri estimates that as many as 200,000 b/d could be sold to smugglers on international waters while Iran could continue to ship as much as 150,000 b/d to India and 200,000 b/d to China as part of debt repayment programs. Since these exports to China and India would be debt repayment, not revenue to Iran, the US may allow those imports to continue, Vakhshouri argues. In this interview, Vakhshouri also talks about who may fill the supply gap created by US sanctions; the impact on Venezuela, Libya and other supply risks; and whether China may simply decide to not comply with sanctions as its waiver expires.

S&P Global Platts:
April 26, 2019

China, US face off on Iranian crude flows, with risks to global economy

In addition, the US may choose not to sanction Iranian crude sent to China to repay debt, according to Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. Since these barrels would be used to repay debt and not generate revenue for Iran, the US may permit them, Vakhshouri said. She estimated that as much as 200,000 b/d of Iranian crude could be shipped to China in the form of debt repayment.

Washington Post:
April 24, 2019

Trump wants to push Iran to the point of no return

“The Saudis, OPEC, and Russia could cover for Iranian oil, but the market will be really tight, and prices will increase significantly, as there will not be much spare capacity left in the market for any potential additional supply interruption,” Sara Vakhshouri, an Iranian oil expert.

Oil and Gas Journal:
April 23, 2019

Crude benchmarks jump on US refusal to extend sanctions waivers

Sara Vakhshouri, SVB Energy International president in Washington, DC, said, “If Iran oil exports hit zero, there will be significant consequences on the oil market and prices.” She noted world oil supplies are lower than usual because of US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. “Iran zero-export policy will also have a psychological impact on both paper ad physical oil prices,” which will give oil prices upward momentum, she said.

BBC 5 Live Radio:
April 23, 2019

Iran Zero Oil Export Policy

Dr. Vakhshouri spoke with Rhod Sharp of BBC Five Live Radio on US zero Iran oil export policy.

Financial Times:
April 22, 2019

Crude rallies as US sharpens moves to curb Iran exports

Sara Vakhshouri, energy consultant at SVB Energy International said a “zero export policy” would have “significant consequences on the oil market and prices.”

The Market Place:
April 22, 2019

Iran sanctions: What will become of oil prices?

For a year, the Trump administration has been threatening to choke off oil sales from Iran, which it sees as an outlaw regime that destabilizes the Middle East. The White House says this time it's serious. In nine days the U.S. will make no exceptions to sanctions — no country that imports oil from Iran will be exempt. Iranian crude exports will likely plummet. It turns out that oil markets were not expecting a no-tolerance policy. Traders are worried that tightening Iran's spigot could leave the world with too little oil. Dr. Vakhshouri spoke with Scott Tong of Market Place on this issue.

Foreign Policy:
April 22, 2019

Trump’s Big Iran Oil Gamble

“The Saudis, OPEC, and Russia could cover for Iranian oil, but the market will be really tight, and prices will increase significantly, as there will not be much spare capacity left in the market for any potential additional supply interruption,” said Sara Vakhshouri, an Iranian oil expert and president of SVB Energy International, a consultancy.

Lobelog:
April 22, 2019

U.S. Ends Oil Sanctions Waivers For Iran

In that respect, according to Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of Washington-based SVB Energy International, the timing seemed somewhat peculiar given its proximity to summer when gasoline demand in the U.S. hits its peak. “But it will also have a psychological impact on both paper and physical oil prices, as it increases the risk of war and global-supply interruption,” she said. “Market anticipations of Iran’s different responses to the ‘Zero-export’ policy and potential supply interruptions create uncertainty and push prices even higher.”

Gulf News:
April 22, 2019

Oil prices hit 2019 high amid US clampdown on Iran

“If Iran oil export hits zero, there will be significant consequences on the oil market and prices. Zero Iran export naturally will have impact on the actual supply in the market at a time when oil supplies are less than usual due to Iran and Venezuela sanctions,” Dr Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International told Gulf News. “This is also happening as summer would approach and US hits the high gasoline peak demand.” She also added Saudi Arabia, Opec and Russia could cover for Iran oil, but the market will be really tight. “Prices will increase significantly as there will be not much spare capacity left in the market for any potential additional supply interruption.”

The Wall Street Journal:
April 22, 2019

Tightened U.S. Ban on Iran Rattles Oil World

“The #Chinese are very committed” to the #Iranian #nucleardeal in principle. But their overarching objective is of course their relationship on trade with the U.S.”

Reuters:
April 21, 2019

Iran's oil exports fall in March even before further U.S. clampdown: sources

“We do expect less Iranian oil exports after May,” said Sara Vakhshouri of energy consultant SVB Energy International. “However, we don’t think that OPEC will increase its production in anticipation of lower Iranian oil exports, but only if there are clear signs of further Iran and/or Venezuelan export cuts in the market,” Vakhshouri said.

S&P Global Platts:
April 19, 2019

Trump Libya shift likely driven by oil, gasoline price fears: analysts

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said she expects the Trump administration to extend some of those waivers, but said officials could also increase pressure on Iran by applying new sanctions on Iran petrochemical exports, petroleum products or non-oil export items.

Oil and Gas Journal:
April 16, 2019

MARKET WATCH: Brent crude for June drops yet holds above $71/bbl

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, noted some of Iran’s West Karu oil fields have been flooded, shutting production for a few weeks. “We do expect a lower oil production” in April and May, Vakhshouri told OGJ in an e-mail. She estimated Iran’s March production at 2.69 million b/d and its March exports at 1.1-1.2 million b/d. Vakhshouri expects US President Donald Trump’s administration will extend some existing waivers on Iranian sanctions to certain countries. “We expect…waivers extension in May,” she said. “We think there are very high chances that China and India and perhaps Turkey will receive waivers but with further cuts compared to the current 180-day waivers. This will put Iran’s oil exports somewhere around 470,000-500,000 b/d.”

S&P Global Platts:
April 9, 2019

Analysis: Iranian oil exports recover close to pre-sanction levels

The US administration insists that it is committed to "zeroing out" Iranian crude oil exports but most analysts remain skeptical that exports would fall to this number. "We don't expect Iran oil exports to reach to actual zero. Zero Iran oil export poses a serious threat against the security of oil flow, especially from the Persian Gulf," said Sara Vakshouri, president of SVB Energy International. Vakshouri estimated Iran's oil exports to average 470,000-500,000 b/d if only China, India and Turkey receive exemptions. "If Japan and South Korea also succeed to receive Iran oil import waivers, Iran oil export could reach to 670,000-850,000 b/d," she added. A moderate number of Iran's state-owned oil tankers continue to not broadcasting their geographical positions, making it tricky to ascertain the exact amount of the country's seaborne crude exports.

S&P Global Platts:
March 29, 2019

US to extend Iran oil sanctions waivers to China, India, South Korea, Turkey: survey

According Sara Vakshouri, president of SVB Energy International, Iran's oil exports will fall to between 700,000 b/d and 950,000 b/d if the US grants waivers to all countries currently importing Iranian crude. But if the administration takes a stricter stance, requiring countries to further reduce imports and allowing waivers for Korea and Japan to expire, Iranian imports could fall as low as 500,000 b/d after May.

Reuters:
March 21, 2019

Iran's oil exports fall in March even before further U.S. clampdown -sources

“We do expect less Iranian oil exports after May,” said Sara Vakhshouri of energy consultant SVB Energy International. “However, we don’t think that OPEC will increase its production in anticipation of lower Iranian oil exports, but only if there are clear signs of further Iran and/or Venezuelan export cuts in the market,” Vakhshouri said. Venezuela, an OPEC member, is also under U.S. sanctions which have curbed its exports.

Oil & Gas Journal:
March 19, 2019

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil settles above $59/bbl

Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said, “This is a clear message to the US administration that OPEC will not increase its production unless there are actual signs that Iran and Venezuela’s production are going to be cut. US waivers for Iran oil imports will expire in early May. Unless OPEC members know how much exactly these waivers are going to impact Iran’s oil exports, they won’t plan to increase their production.” Iran’s crude oil production capacity—not actual production—has increased because of completion of some West Karun fields, Vakhshouri said.

Petroleum Economist:
March 8, 2019

Tehran left in the cold as old allies cut crude imports

Tehran had hoped long-standing crude buyer China might withstand American pressure and continue to buy its oil-imports averaged 590,000bl/d in the May-October 2018 period, according to figures from consultancy SVB Energy International — but recent volumes are well down on this level. Iranian exports to China remain well down on the levels witnessed during the last extended period of sanctions endured by the country in the 2012-15 period. In those years it sold an average 448,000bl/d to Beijing, according to SVB figures. India, with which Iran has close economic relations, appears unlikely to provide significant relief. Its imports from Iran in January were just 234,000bl/d, according to Kpler. This is less than half of the May-October 2018 average of 563,000bl/d, as reported by SVB. "No Asian country is interested in risking their diplomatic and trade relations with the US over Iran. All the Indian private refineries halted their imports from Iran and only the public refineries are importing oil, with a high compliance with US waivers," says SVB CEO Sara Vakhshouri. Many moved quickly to scale back their imports significantly. Japan cut its imports to zero in October, from about 150,000bl/d averaged over the previous five months, according to SVB figures. This led to 2018 proving the worst year for Iran's sales to Asia's top four buyers (China, India, Japan and South Korea) since sanctions were eased in 2015.

S&P Global Platts:
Feb. 27, 2019

Amid low imports, Iran sanctions worries, Trump officials meet Saudis

The Trump administration needs additional Saudi production in order to allow those sanctions waivers to expire, particularly as sanctions on Venezuelan crude will likely continue to tighten the heavy oil market, said Sara Vakshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International. "On the Saudi side, they need an assurance that the Trump administration is serious in cutting Iran oil production and/or pushing it to zero export," Vakshouri said. "This is important for the Saudis in order to have an exact estimate of market requirements."

OilPrice.com:
Feb. 15, 2019

A Big Week For Oil Bulls

U.S. leverage over Iran wanes due to Venezuela. The U.S. is likely to allow some degree of oil purchases from Iran beyond the May deadline, a growing number of experts believe. The catastrophic losses of oil supply in Venezuela, and the failure to secure rapid regime change, will make it difficult for the U.S. to take Iran’s oil exports down to zero without causing an oil price spike. Venezuela sanctions and tighter heavy crude oil market would lead to another round of…U.S. waivers on Iran oil export sanctions,” Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based SVB Energy International, told the WSJ.

The Wall Street Journal:
Feb. 12, 2019

One Potential Beneficiary of U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela: Iran

The U.S. is likely to continue allowing some Iranian shipments beyond April, while reducing the amounts of oil purchased, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based SVB Energy International. “Venezuela sanctions and tighter heavy crude oil market would lead to another round of…U.S. waivers on Iran oil export sanctions,” she said. Iran’s shipments stood at about 1.1 million barrels a day in January—down from 2.3 million barrels a day a year earlier, according to Ms. Vakhshouri.

Foreign Policy:
Jan. 29, 2019

How Trump’s Venezuela Sanctions Could Undercut His Iran Policy

“The Venezuela sanctions, along with sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, will create a tighter market for heavy crude oil,” said Sara Vakhshouri, the president of SVB Energy International. Together, “that would lead to another round of 180-day U.S. waivers on Iran’s oil exports.”

AlJazeera:
Dec. 23, 2018

Year in Review: The good, the bad, and the ugly of 2018

While the US tries to use its currency as a weapon, "all of the eight countries that are importing oil from Iran - none of them are going to give any types of currency back to Iran," explains Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International. "Iran can only import humanitarian goods or necessary goods, those goods that are not subject to sanctions back to Iran, so they're kind of bartering for food and medicine." Additionally, the European Union is exploring "specific channels of trade with Iran banking and transactions with Iran, and if these channels are built for more formal or usable ways of working with Iran, this will of course weaken the dollar as a weapon", says Vakhshouri. "Also, Iranians are selling their oil in local currency to these eight countries, so if we push this more or if we want to use [the dollar] as a weapon, it'll lose its influence." But at the same time, "we cannot deny the fact that all of these things have their own consequences on Iran's economy".

European Council on Foreign Relations:
Dec. 17, 2018

Iran oil exports: 8 waivers and the OPEC meeting

Last month, the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector as part of its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran. But it nevertheless sought to prevent an unhelpful spike in oil prices ahead of the midterm elections. As a result the United States issued eight waivers to importers of Iranian oil: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, and Greece. The waivers allow these countries to import a limited amount of oil from Iran without falling foul of US sanctions. The ‘waiver effect’ was visible from the outset: oil prices dropped the day the waivers were announced. At the same time the market expected other oil producers – particularly Saudi Arabia and Russia – to cut back their temporary production, which had increased over the previous few months to cover Iran’s drop in production. Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to this at the 7 December OPEC meeting.

Al-Monitor:
Dec. 4, 2018

Asia buoys Iran as US sanctions hit

India, Japan and South Korea also received waivers from the Trump administration. Sara Vakhshouri, an expert on Iran’s oil industry and president of SVB Energy International, estimates that India will buy an average of nearly 300 million barrels a day — only a slight reduction from the pre-sanctions period — while Japan will import 130,000-150,000 barrels and South Korea 180,000 barrels. Taiwan was also granted a waiver but decided not to use it. Vakshouri told Al-Monitor that the island nation “was not a regular costumer and its imports are very insignificant.” Taiwan buys most of its oil from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Mikkal Herberg, research director for Asian Energy Security at the National Bureau of Asian Research, agreed with Vakhshouri that the small quantity of oil imported from Iran was easy for Taiwan to replace. Still, Iran’s exports will still be cut by at least a million barrels a day from pre-sanctions levels. Vakhshouri estimates that Iran’s exports will average 1.1 million-1.3 million barrels a day for the duration of sanctions. Iran’s budget for the next year beginning March 21 assumes exports of 1.5 million barrels a day.

Deutsche Welle:
Dec. 4, 2018

Riyadh between an OPEC rock and Trump's hard place

Much depends on how the Russians decide to play their hand. Most overseers expect Saudi Arabia and the GCC to decide to cut production. "But without Russia, the market impact is likely to be limited," Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, told DW. "Russia is not very interested in losing market share and reducing its oil production, especially that the market is not convinced that the eight waivers will significantly add to Iran's exports," she went on.

S&P Global Platts:
Dec. 3, 2018

OPEC focuses on cuts deal after Qatar exit shock

Sara Vakhshouri, a Washington-based analyst who heads the consultancy SVB International, said the exit of Qatar from OPEC is symptomatic of the weakening ties between members, as Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia have taken the reins of output policymaking over the past two years. "Some of the members feel their interests are not fulfilled, and they are not gaining much by remaining in OPEC," Vakhshouri said. "This could evolve OPEC's function and realities from what we are used to."

Financial Tribune:
Dec. 2, 2018

SVB Energy Int’l: Crude Exports to Average 1.2mbpd Until March

Despite waivers the US government granted to eight countries after imposing sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, the country’s crude sales will fluctuate between 1.1and 1.3 million barrels per day for the rest of the year, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC said. "Exports may witness a small increase of 100,000-200,000 bpd from January, mostly going to Japan and South Korea," Sara Vakhshouri, a former expert working for the National Iranian Oil Company said, Afkar News reported. The analyst who is often by news outlets such as Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC and Platts Energy TV, Iranian tankers are shipping crude to Asia and as such not much capacity is left for deliveries to the European Union states including Italy and Greece. Unlike other traders and analysts who assert the waivers could increase Iran’s oil exports, Vakhshouri is of the opinion that that would be improbable due to lack of Iranian shipping capacity. Tehran says its November oil sales were close to 1.1 million bpd, down from 1.7 million bpd in previous months. The eight countries that have been granted waivers are China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. “The only game changer would be the China-US tariff talks. Should China decide to increase its imports to the normal 550,000-650,000 bpd, Iran's oil sales could reach 1.4 million bpd,” she said. China and the US have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods. The US has hit $250 billion of Chinese goods with tariffs since July, and China has retaliated by imposing duties on $110 billion of US products. According to SVB survey, China's oil import from Iran peaked in the January-April period to 664,000 bpd and the world’s second largest economy is allowed to buy a maximum of 350,000 bpd from December till June 2019 when waivers are expected to be renewed. India will continue importing 280,000-300,000 bpd of Iranian oil, Vakhshouri said, adding that she expects Turkey too will continue buying up to a maximum of 150,000 bpd. Iranian condensate production will not be affected with most exports (about 180,000 bpd) going to South Korea, she said. Japan's share of Iran oil exports, which stood at 314,000 bpd in 2011, will decline to as low as 130,000 bpd. Italy whose export amounted to 250,000 bpd in 2016 will have to cut its purchases by half. Reportedly, Taiwan will not import Iranian crude due to banking restrictions. SVB is based in Washington DC since 2009 where it has advised numerous energy and policy leaders, international corporations, think tanks, investment banks, and law firms on the global energy market, the geopolitics of energy and investment patterns.

Oil and Gas Journal:
Nov. 29, 2018

Iran’s oil exports likely to remain 1.1-1.3 million b/d this year

Iran’s oil exports likely will remain at 1.1-1.3 million b/d for the rest of this year despite waivers the US government granted to eight countries after imposing US sanctions on Iranian oil sales, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC. Iran has said its November oil sales were about 1.1 million b/d. SVB Energy listed the eight countries having waivers as China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. In early November, US President Donald Trump’s administration fully imposed new sanctions on Iran. In May, Trump announced a US exit from an international agreement that had lifted earlier sanctions against Iran by an alliance of countries in exchange for Iran’s cooperation on its nuclear program. The sanctions are unilateral, but US officials are asking other countries to buy less oil from Iran. Some traders and analysts have suggested the waivers could increase Iran’s oil exports, but Vakhshouri said she believes that will not happen through Dec. 31 for lack of Iranian shipping capacity. “We could expect a slight export rise of 100,000-200,000 b/d from the month of January, mostly going to Japan and South Korea,” Vakhshouri said of Iran’s exports. “The only game changer would be China-US tariff negotiations, and if China decides to increase its imports back to normal volume of 550,000-650,000 b/d.” Most Iranian tankers are delivering oil to Asia so not much extra shipping capacity is left for deliveries of Iranian crude to the European Union, she said. India most likely will continue importing 280,000-300,000 b/d of Iranian oil, Vakhshouri said, adding she expects that Turkey will continue importing 100,000-120,000 b/d up to a maximum of 150,000 b/d. Iran’s condensate production will remain as it is, with most condensate exports going to South Korea, she said.

The Wall Street Journal:
Nov. 23, 2018

U.S. Pushes Iraq to Wean Itself Off Iranian Energy

Energy independence from Iran “was in Iraq’s interest before it became a demand from any other side,” said Kadhim al-Hassani, an economic adviser to Mr. Abdul-Mahdi who led a delegation that negotiated sanctions relief with the U.S. The sanctions “accelerated our steps.” It could take over a year for Iraq to develop new ways of generating or importing natural gas, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based consulting firm SVB Energy International. Iraq imports enough electricity from Iran to power almost 1 million homes a year and buys 28 million cubic meters of Iranian gas every day—roughly the amount that Massachusetts consumes daily.

Wall Street Journal:
Nov. 16, 2018

Saudis Move to Counter U.S. Oil Strategy

The lack of detail about the size of the waivers is “confusing for markets,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based consulting firm SVB Energy International.

Aljazeera:
Nov. 11, 2018

Can Iran survive US economic sanctions?

Eight countries have been given a six-month waiver to trade with Iran: China, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Japan and Turkey. That helped to keep the lid on any global oil price disruption, for now. While the US tries to use its currency as a weapon, "all of the eight countries that are importing oil from Iran - none of them are going to give any types of currency back to Iran," explains Dr Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International. "Iran can only import humanitarian goods or necessary goods, those goods that are not subject to sanctions back to Iran, so they're kind of bartering for food and medicine." Additionally, the European Union is exploring "specific channels of trade with Iran banking and transactions with Iran, and if these channels are built for more formal or usable ways of working with Iran, this will of course weaken the dollar as a weapon," says Vakhshouri. "Also, Iranians are selling their oil in local currency to these eight countries, so if we push this more or if we want to use [the dollar] as a weapon, it'll lose its influence." But at the same time, "we cannot deny the fact that all of these things have their own consequences on Iran's economy." Major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia will stand to benefit from Iran's absence in the oil production game, especially in mid-2019 because the market is expecting an over-surplus of oil. However, Iran's economy is not expected to collapse under the sanctions, contends Vakhshouri. "This is not the first round of sanctions on Iran ... so the Iranian government's psychology is built on living under the sanctions. Their priorities and policies are always shaped based on how they can be more resistant ... Iran's economy can still survive this round of sanctions, but what is really hurting its economy is the domestic corruption and lack of management. But would the sanctions cripple Iran's economy to the extent that the whole system would collapse? We don't expect that."

Gulf News:
Nov. 4, 2018

Iran sanctions waiver to be negative on oil prices

Meanwhile, Iran’s exports in November is expected to reach to close to 1 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based SVB Energy International. “Out of this, we expect about 300,000 to 500,000 bpd going to China, 280 to 300,000 to India, 70 to 150,000 bpd to Turkey and 100 to 180,000 to South Korea.”

S&P Global Platts:
Nov. 2, 2018

China may be biggest hurdle to US maximum pressure campaign on Iran: analysts

China imported 665,000 b/d of Iranian crude and condensates through the first nine months of this year, up from 602,000 b/d in 2017, according to cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade-flow software. In a note Thursday, Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said she expects roughly 500,000 b/d of Iranian exports to China in November, the majority imported by Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, a state-owned trading company, and the rest sold to PetroChina and independent refineries.

Oil and Gas Journal:
Nov. 2, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil benchmark prices drop before US oil sanctions on Iran

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, estimated Iran’s oil production dropped to 3.33 million b/d from 3.51 million b/d during October. She expects that Iran’s November exports will be about 1 million b/d total to China, India, Turkey, and South Korea. “We don’t think that Russia…has a capacity to swap any oil for Iran in China,” Vakhshouri told OGJ via e-mail. “We expect to see higher oil shipments and delivery of oil than what was permitted by US administration under the waivers,” she said. China is expected to continue to be Iran’s biggest oil buyer although the oil may remain in storage, which would comply with US sanctions. “It is important to distinguish sold oil from delivered oil,” she said, adding stored oil is not reflected in the actual market supply of any given month. Separately, US President Donald Trump and his cabinet officials put a positive spin on talks with China, but some analysts doubt the two countries will overcome a trade impasse.

S&P Global Platts:
Oct. 31, 2018

Analysis: Chinese, Indian appetite for Iran's oil climbs further

"Iran, like any other major oil exporter, uses tank farms outside of its main land for storing oil in different regions," president of consultancy SVB Energy International Sara Vakhshouri said. "NIOC has moved its storage tank farm hub from the port of Rotterdam to China. This will give closer and quicker access to its customers in Asia."

Foreign Policy:
Oct. 22, 2018

Can the U.S. Make Oil Sanctions on Iran Work?

When Iran faced oil sanctions previously, it diverted to storage some of the oil it pumped but couldn’t sell. Something similar appears to be happening this time, said Sara Vakhshouri, a former Iranian oil executive who is now the president of SVB Energy International, an energy consultancy. “Iran in September and October has been storing significant amount of liquid in its floating storages and storage tanks outside of Iran. But not all of these amounts are sold and can be counted as export,” she said.

Al Monitor:
Oct. 22, 2018

Khashoggi killing undercuts Trump campaign against Iran

Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVB Energy International, told Al-Monitor that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has 2.64 million barrels a day of spare capacity, of which Saudi Arabia accounts for 1.94 million barrels. She said, “OPEC and Saudi Arabia have already increased their production and not all of this above-mentioned capacity is available.” Russia has also increased production and could increase further. However, “No one has an exact estimate for how long Saudi (and even Russia) can sustain their production at their maximum capacity,” she said. This creates “uncertainty” over the “volume and durability of spare capacity,” which in turn “creates panic in the market and potentially pushes the prices up.” “Use of spare capacity as a cover for Iran oil production would leave no additional capacity in the market to cover for any sudden interruption in the market,” Vakhshouri said. “This again creates panic in the market and leads to higher prices.” Vakshouri said the situation might be mitigated — but only late next year if US export capacity increases as expected by the market.

S&P Global Platts:
Oct. 10, 2018

Iran reactivates domestic crude bourse to get around US sanctions

Sara Vakhshouri, who heads up the consultancy SVB Energy International and follows Iran closely, said she doubted that using the bourse would be very successful, as any international buyers would still likely be subject to US sanctions for dealing with Iranian entities. "This is not going to increase Iran's exports significantly, due to surveillance and monitoring technologies which could track Iran's oil exports," she said.

Wall Street Journal:
Oct. 5, 2018

OPEC’s Wildcards Could Push Oil to $100

Tehran’s crude exports fell to 1.5 million barrels a day this September, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International and a former official at the National Iranian Oil Co. That compares with 2.1 million barrels a day in June.

Oil and Gas Journal:
Oct. 3, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices drop slightly but hover near 4-year highs

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said Iran’s oil exports fell to a rounded 1.69 million b/d in September from 1.85 million b/d in August. Vakhshouri said Iran is offering steeper discounts on condensate than crude oil. Most of the unsold cargoes in tankers already at sea are condensate because South Korea has halted its purchases of Iranian condensate. Iran has started storing crude oil and condensate in tank farms outside of Iran, she said. Given lower exports, Iran will adjust its production by reducing oil from its southern fields. Almost all of Iran’s the production drop so far has been done in the Southern fields, Vakhshouri said, adding West Karun oil fields production will continue growing. Iran will decide how to adjust its production based on its November exports, she said. She said Iran’s oil production was 3.51 million b/d in September, down from 3.59 million b/d in August.

Oil and Gas Journal:
Oct. 3, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices drop slightly but hover near 4-year highs

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said Iran’s oil exports fell to a rounded 1.69 million b/d in September from 1.85 million b/d in August. Vakhshouri said Iran is offering steeper discounts on condensate than crude oil. Most of the unsold cargoes in tankers already at sea are condensate because South Korea has halted its purchases of Iranian condensate. Iran has started storing crude oil and condensate in tank farms outside of Iran, she said. Given lower exports, Iran will adjust its production by reducing oil from its southern fields. Almost all of Iran’s the production drop so far has been done in the Southern fields, Vakhshouri said, adding West Karun oil fields production will continue growing. Iran will decide how to adjust its production based on its November exports, she said. She said Iran’s oil production was 3.51 million b/d in September, down from 3.59 million b/d in August.

S&P Global Platts:
Oct. 2, 2018

Analysis: Iran's oil tankers opt for Houdini tricks as US sanctions loom

Recent tanker data had shown a sharp fall in exports to India, but the reappearance of the tankers suggested flows to India may not be as low as preliminary data showed. Such tanker activity may be a sign of things to come. "NITC had started a drill and not all of these ghost tankers have unsold cargoes. They are testing and practicing," the president of consultancy SVB Energy International, Sara Vakhshouri, said. "We are going to see more tankers with AIS off. There will be some ship-to-ship deliveries on the sea and Iran has already started storing oil in its leased tank farms outside of Iran," Vakhshouri said.

Iran Struggles With Unrest in Pivotal Oil Hub

“People in these areas are producing most of the wealth in Iran but they are not getting their share,” said Sara Vakhshouri, a former official in the National Iranian Oil Co., who now heads the Washington-based consultancy SVB Energy International. That leaves the oil industry “in a very vulnerable situation,” she said. Ms. Vakhshouri said she was aware of 40 “suspicious” incidents such as explosions since December 2015. The government has repeatedly denied any sabotage.

Deutsche Welle:
Sept. 21, 2018

German firms lead exodus out of Iran

Many observers expect many more big firms to leave Iran. "We expect almost all of the European and Japanese companies along with major Korean companies to leave Iran," Sara Vakhshouri, the president of SVB Energy International in Washington DC, told DW. "This will have a negative impact on Iran's economy and manufacture processes of different industries. On the other hand, Chinese and Russian companies will benefit from lack of competition in Iran but we shouldn't forget that under the nuclear sanctions, Chinese companies took over many projects but most of them remain uncompleted."

European Council on Foreign Relations,:
Sept. 20, 2018

Can Iran weather the oil-sanctions storm?

As the US steps up its sanctions against Iran, the negative effects ripple throughout the global energy markets. In the coming weeks, the US administration will intensify its economic pressure on Iran through sanctions designed to curtail the country’s oil exports. Given that these exports account for a significant percentage of state revenue (despite government efforts at economic diversification), the measures will hit Iran hard. Yet the sanctions will also have an impact on energy markets far beyond Iran, and may lead to a rise in global oil prices. Moreover, they could have a negative effect on global energy security by tapping into most of the spare capacity in the market. Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) in May this year, US officials have stated that they aim to prevent Iran from exporting any oil whatsoever. Although the second phase of the new US sanctions only come into effect on 4 November, Iranian oil production and exports have already started to decline – partly because the US has issued conflicting statements on whether it will provide sanctions waivers to some importers, and partly because the August 2018 round of US sanctions set restrictions on payments, shipping, and insurance.

Gulf News:
Sept. 6, 2018

Iran oil exports to reduce by upto 40% once sanctions kick in

Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International based in Washington DC said oil exports from Iran have already reduced by about 550,000 to 600,000 barrels per day in August when the first round of US sanctions kicked in. “The figure is likely to go up to 1.4 to 1.5 million barrels per day this month,” she added. “There is a general misunderstanding that Iran’s oil exports will start showing a significant reduction from November 4 onward, but the first round of sanctions will put severe limitation on transactions with Iran and insurance on oil tankers.” Last month, the US administration reimposed the first batch of Iran sanctions since Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, with sanctions on oil sales coming into force from November. “Reductions in Iranian oil exports will have a negative impact on Iran’s economy and currency value which ultimately causes a massive inflation in the country.”

OilPrice.com:
Aug. 30, 2018

Oil Rallies On Flurry Of Bullish News

The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s oil exports are falling much faster than most analysts had predicted. While China and the European Union have vowed to continue to help Iran export its oil, it’s an uphill climb for Tehran to prevent supply losses. Banks are backing away from involvement in the trade of Iranian oil, and shippers are having trouble finding insurance for cargoes. European refiners, despite political support for Tehran in Brussels, have already moved to sharply cut purchases of Iranian crude. The result is that Iran’s oil exports are set to plunge this month, after more modest losses in July. The WSJ says, citing data from SVB Energy International, that Iran’s oil exports could fall to 1.66 million barrels per day (mb/d) in August, a massive decline from 2.34 mb/d in July. The consultancy says that Iran’s oil exports could continue to fall precipitously over the coming months, falling as low as 0.8 mb/d in November.

S&P Global Platts:
Aug. 23, 2018

Analysis: Uncertain market outlook keeps Saudi Arabia waiting on Aramco IPO

"Saudi Arabia doesn't need the IPO as much as it needed it few years ago," said Sara Vakhshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB International and closely follows Saudi oil policy. "Oil prices are higher, and due to Iran sanctions, [Saudi] market share and ultimately their income will increase further."

S&P Global Platts:
Aug. 7, 2018

Analysis: Iran's oil export descent starts to accelerate in July

"We expect Iran oil exports from September to have a higher rate of decline," president of consultancy SVB Energy International Sara Vakhshouri said. "These sanctions will put severe limitations on transactions with Iran and insurance on oil tankers. All of which will make it hard for Iran to sell its oil."

Oil and Gas Journal:
Aug. 7, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices rise on US sanctions on Iran

On Nov. 4, US officials will decide whether to issue a waiver to all or specific importers of Iranian oil for 6 months. Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, told OGJ she believes Iran’s oil exports will show higher decline in September as buyers of Iranian oil try to avoid antagonizing US officials. “The first round of sanctions…put severe limitation on transactions with Iran and insurance on oil tankers,” making it hard for Iran to sell its oil, Vakhshouri said. She noted that importers of Iranian oil already are reducing oil purchases from Iran to prove to the US government that they markedly reduced their Iranian crude imports by Nov. 4.

Oil and Gas Journal:
July 19, 2018

Reimposing Iran oil sanctions may be difficult for US, speakers say

Sara Vakhshouri, founder and president of SVP International who formerly worked in public and private sectors of Iran’s oil industry, agreed that an uncertain expiration date is troublesome, while lower oil prices currently could become a problem if they start to rise quickly.

Newsweek:
June 29, 2018

IRAN FACES BLACKOUTS AS PROTESTS ROCK CAPITAL

Internationally, oil prices have spiked, as the market responds to U.S. demands to cease purchasing Iranian crude. Some experts have warned that prices could rise to more than $90 per barrel, from the current price of just over $70. Speaking to Bloomberg, Sara Vakhshouri, head of Washington, D.C.-based consultant SVB Energy International said that Iran is in “a really horrible position.” According to Vakhshouri’s analysis, “There’s not really much Iran can do to maintain its export level.” At the same time, U.S. allies aren’t on board with Trump’s planned sanctions. Their impact will also have negative repercussions for Europe and other traditional allies, many of whom are already frustrated by the announcement of new U.S. tariffs.

Bloomberg:
June 29, 2018

Iran Is Running Out of Options on Oil

“Iran is in a really horrible position right now,” said Sara Vakhshouri, head of Washington, D.C.-based consultant SVB Energy International. “There’s not really much Iran can do to maintain its export level.” If the U.S. and China reach a trade agreement, we could expect significant Iran oil-import cuts,” Vakhshouri said.

Platts OilGramNews:
June 27, 2018

US expects Iran oil buyers to cut imports to zero by november

Sara vakhshouri, president of SvB Energy International, suspects the State Department only announced the no-waiver strategy after securing agreements from Saudi Arabia and russia to increase production later this year to offset the blocked Iranian exports and prevent a price shock. vakhshouri said it also indicates the US/ China trade war may get resolved by November. “Otherwise, the State Department wouldn’t be confident on having China stop importing oil from Iran,” she said.

Oil and Gas Journal:
June 27, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices climb as US talks sanctions on Iran’s trading partners

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, told OGJ that the Trump administration is forming a trade alliance against Iran by using the pending sanctions as a component of US trade negotiations with members of the European Union and China. She also noted oil market participants are very sensitive right now to any supply disruptions or geopolitical threats. Traders are worried about how much spare capacity exists.

Arab Weekly:
June 24, 2018

US sanctions expected to cut Iran’s growth, weaken foreign investment

Another Middle East Institute panellist said US sanctions would benefit many countries by compelling them to increase oil and gas production. “Having sanctions on Iran is not really hurting anyone. It creates market share for oil producers,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International who worked for the National Iranian Oil Company from 2000-08. “Having sanctions on Iran will profit many countries and doesn’t bother the rest.”

Oil and Gas Journal:
June 4, 2018

US sanctions threaten Iran’s oil exports, production

Iran started preparing to increase production after the international agreement was announced in June 2015. Production then increased in January 2016 upon removal of the export ban. In 2017, production grew by about 45,000 b/d. Production capacity of the southern oil fields is expected to rise another 55,000 b/d by June 2019. Less developed fields also contribute to increased production. Table 4 shows most of Iran’s new oil production will come from the recently developed West Karun fields where production averaged 260,000 b/d in 2016, up from 100,000 b/d in 2015. Peak West Karun production during 2016 reached 280,000 b/d for the month of October. Production reached 345,000 b/d by December 2017 and is expected to reach 380,000 b/d by mid-2018. With no interruptions, Iran could increase production 180,000 b/d by mid-2019, of which 125,000 b/d would be from West Karun oil field and the rest from southern oil fields. If Iran’s upstream projects proceed as planned, production could reach 550,000 b/d by the late 2019 and 700,000 b/d by 2021.

Oil and Gas Journal:
May 25, 2018

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil gains $3/bbl after OPEC meeting

Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, said US unilateral sanctions against Iran are scheduled to take effect Nov. 4. She had expected OPEC was to increase its production before that. “The OPEC agreement is critical for the effectiveness and implementation of US sanctions on Iran oil expects,” Vakhshouri said.

Oil & Gas Journal:
May 14, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Brent crude for July hovers above $77/bbl

US economic sanctions are to be imposed on Iran. Meanwhile, the European Union is talking with Iran, encouraging Iran to maintain compliance with terms of the 2015 international agreement, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC. “Refiners will usually have about 180 days to report import cuts from Iran,” she said. “This gives enough time for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to adjust its production and supply.” Vakhshouri said SVB Energy expects Iran’s oil exports could be reduced 200,000-500,000 b/d by Dec. 31. Iran’s export cuts could reach 800,000-1 million b/d by about June 2019, she forecast.

LobeLog:
May 14, 2018

Trump’s Sanctions Will Hurt Iran, But How Much?

Sara Vakhshouri, president of the energy consulting firm SVB Energy International, believes that at least when it comes to oil sanctions—the sanctions that are likely to be the most immediately painful to the Iranian economy—European firms are already well prepared to divest themselves of any Iranian ties: Because of the experience they had under the 2012-2016 nuclear sanctions, European companies are very ready to implement the sanctions. Companies that are importing Iranian oil are already looking for alternative sources. There hasn’t been much investment in Iran [from European energy companies] except for [French oil giant] Total, and they’re ready to come out. Some other companies have signed MOUs, but they don’t aren’t legally binding. Other companies decided they didn’t want to have anything to do with Iran. As opposed to the pre-JCPOA period—during which, Vakhshouri says, “the U.S. State Department had to go to a lot of effort to get these companies to comply” with U.S oil sanctions against Iran, “this time, they already know the consequences for failing to comply.” Additionally, changes in the global oil market and the struggles foreign firms have had navigating Iran’s business environment have made Iran a less important oil supplier and a less attractive target for energy investment: Now we have significant U.S. shale oil and gas resources, for example, and there are other options for investors. The lower price of oil has changed the way investors view the market. So they are not seeing so much benefit from Iran that they would be willing to risk sanctions. Back in 2012, when the price of oil was very high, Iran could offer to discount its price and make a big difference for importers. Now the global price is low enough that incentivizing in that way doesn’t really make a big difference. The other issue is that, in the past two years, Iran hasn’t really done anything to make it more attractive to invest in its oil industry. The Iranians talked about improving regulations to make them more welcoming to foreign investors, but when the sanctions came off in 2016 they just assumed that companies were dying to invest in Iran. But many companies have not invested in Iran because of its contracting system, not just because of sanctions. Business in Iran is risky and unprofitable, so it won’t be hard for Trump to reimpose sanctions and get European firms to honor them. Vakhshouri sees two potential scenarios for the EU’s approach toward Iran and the nuclear deal moving forward. In one, when Trump’s six-month wind-down period ends, European leaders are still committed to maintaining the accord. They could offer incentives to firms to do business in Iran, but in Vakhshouri’s view “this would not amount to much, just enough to motivate Iran to preserve the JCPOA.” The second scenario, which she says is “more likely to happen,” is bleaker from both the Iranian and pro-JCPOA perspectives. In this scenario, after the next 180 days the EU is aligned with the U.S., not with regard to Iran’s nuclear program but with regard to Iran’s missile program. This is what [French President Emmanuel] Macron and Trump were discussing last month. Macron was trying to convince Trump to wait, that the U.S. and Europe could pressure Iran to make another deal around its missile program. But Trump obviously had fundamental problems with the nuclear deal and they weren’t able to work it out, so he reimposed sanctions. Immediately after Trump announced his decision, Israel started launching missiles [against Iranian targets in Syria], so it looks like they’re trying to provoke Iran to retaliate. If that happens, then the world will unite against Iran’s missile program. That would mean reimposing the nuclear sanctions or even harder sanctions.

S&P Global Platts:
May 11, 2018

US gives Iranian crude oil buyers until November to unwind deals

200,000-500,000 b/d of Iranian production will be shut in by Q1 2019, rising to 900,000-1 million b/d by mid-2019 if no new deal is reached, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Deutsche Welle:
May 11, 2018

How will Iran's economy hold up if sanctions return?

"The sanctions could significantly reduce Iran's oil revenue, making it hard to have access to its oil revenue in cash and could push Iran to have oil for goods and services deals," Sara Vakhshouri, the head of Washington-based consultancy SVB Energy, told DW.

Bloomberg:
May 10, 2018

Iran's Dollar Shift Offers Little Comfort as U.S. Exits Deal

Trump going after Iran’s oil sales, “the type of currency Iran receives can’t save its export volumes,” said Sara Vakhshouri, head of Washington-based consultancy SVB Energy. “Receiving payments in euros only partially immunizes Iran’s oil exports from U.S. sanctions.”

S&P Global Platts:
May 10, 2018

Analysis: US expected to take hard line on Iran oil import cuts

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, agreed that US enforcement will depend on oil prices, with the administration likely being comfortable pressing Iranian oil buyers to make additional reductions as long as oil prices stay around $80/b. A price spike that sends prices much above that level would set off alarms in Congress as voters feel the pinch of retail pump prices during peak summer driving season. She pointed to President Donald Trump's April 20 tweet blasting OPEC for "artificially very high" prices after Saudi Arabia's reported desire for $100/b oil. "It's very much dependent on Saudi," Vakhshouri said. "If Saudi doesn't want to cover for Iran, the prices could go higher, of course. Then maybe Treasury starts to adjust the reductions." The level of import reductions will also depend on how the Treasury Department treats condensates. If it considers them as part of a country's total reductions, then cuts will be easier for some countries, analysts said.

S&P Global Platts, OILGRAM NEWS:
May 10, 2018

Oil majors weigh lost opportunities in Iran

Since the 2016 sanctions deal, “There hasn’t been any significant investment in Iran’s energy industry, especially the upstream,” Sara Vakshouri, president of consultancy SVB Energy International said. “This is for three reasons: limitations and problems with using the international banking system and dollar transactions for investments, reputation risk and risk of future sanctions.” A senior official at an Indian refiner said Iranian crude imports were unlikely to be affected because of the sanctions. “This entire thing has to be studied and more clarity needs to emerge, but I don’t see any big drop in Iranian crude supplies to India immediately,” the source said. “China and India have already received many incentives and discounts from Iran on their oil purchases, hence, they will try to reduce their production gradually and in lower quantities [than South Korea and Japan],” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Oil & Gas Journal:
May 9, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices drop after Trump exits agreement on Iran

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said US sanctions will not be as effective as were sanctions imposed by an international alliance from 2012-16. “In 2012, EU started the oil import bank and sanctions on tanker insurance,” Vakhshouri said. “This time, EU will try to encourage Iran to maintain its compliance with JCPOA.” She noted that from the time new US sanctions are implemented, it will take up to 180 days before world oil markets experience a result on world oil supply. Refiners will have about 180 days to report lower imports from Iran, Vakhshouri said. “Based on our field studies, we estimate that Iran has the technical potential to increase its oil production capacity about 120,000-180,000 b/d by mid-2019 if there is not limitation on its exports,” which could force reduced Iranian production, she said.

Foreign Policy:
May 8, 2018

Fresh U.S. Sanctions Not Likely to Strangle Iran’s Oil Market

“If the United States puts sanctions on Iranian oil exports, it won’t be as effective as back in 2012, simply because there is not an agreement between the major powers — the U.S. and the EU — over implementing sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program,” says Sara Vakhshouri, an expert formerly of the Iranian national oil company and now head of SVB Energy International, a consultancy.

Oil and Gas Journal:
April 25, 2018

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices volatile on uncertainty about possible Iranian sanctions

“The recent Trump-Macron meeting indicates that US officials and the European Union have found the middle ground to renegotiate the deal, which was Trump’s demand from the beginning,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington. “Among all EU members, France was the first and most critique of Iran’s missile program,” she wrote in an Apr. 25 e-mail to OGJ. “Now the ball is in Iran’s hands to decide whether it wants to renegotiate the deal or not.” She suggests that “this whole renegotiation process might delay the reappointment of the sanctions by Trump and buys more time for Iran.”

Oil Price:
April 21, 2018

Is The Oil Market Ready For Sanctions On Iran?

ara Vakshouri, head of consultancy SVB Energy International, told Platts that this move could be an attempt to curb the impact of fresh sanctions by taking the dollar out of transactions, but it is unlikely to completely protect Iran from sanctions. “With regard to the oil purchases, as part of its market share policy under sanctions, Iran might agree to receive its oil payments in the local currency of the importers or to received goods and/or services in return for its oil,” Vakshouri told Platts, but noted that Iran’s economy as a whole would be affected even if Tehran is able to continue selling oil internationally. “Unilateral and multilateral restrictions and sanctions will have their own negative impacts on Iran’s economy, even if it is still able to continue oil exports”, Vakshouri noted.

S&P Platts:
April 19, 2018

Analysis: Iran faces oil sanctions challenge despite ditching dollar

Sara Vakshouri, who heads the consultancy SVB Energy International, believes the announcement could be an attempt to limit the impact of sanctions by removing the dollar from transactions. "This will not protect Iran against the sanctions completely," Vakshouri added. "With regard to the oil purchases, as part of its market share policy under sanctions, Iran might agree to receive its oil payments in the local currency of the importers or to received goods and/or services in return for its oil." "Unilateral and multilateral restrictions and sanctions will have their own negative impacts on Iran's economy, even if it is still able to continue oil exports", Vakshouri said.

Entrepreneur:
Jan. 25, 2018

'PM Modi's Energy Plans will Open Avenues for Entrepreneurs and Investors'

Sara Vakhshouri, President, SVB Energy International, is very optimistic about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's energy plan and said the schemes will create investment opportunities for both Indian and international players in the energy space. The senior executive was referring to PM Modi's plan of increasing India's renewable capacity to 175 GW by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biopower and 5 GW from small hydropower. Furthermore, she also mentioned Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (PM's Power for All program) or Saubhagya scheme, which aims to provide electrical connections to over 40 million families in rural and urban areas by December 2018 and free electricity to households below the poverty line (BPL). Vakhshouri said such programs will open doors for entrepreneurs/investors in the whole grid process that are used to bring electricity from the production house to end consumers. Meanwhile, Washington-based SVB Energy International offers market research and strategic advisory services within the energy sector, especially for countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, and Mexico. Their target audiences are mostly American companies and investors.

S&P Platts OILGRAM NEWS:
Jan. 4, 2018

Saudi arabia’s reforms face backlash risk

“Through his reforms, MBS is trying to build the required institutions to be able to manage the key issues in the Kingdom. The Aramco IPO and campaign against the domestic corruption are all the initial steps to lay the ground for building ‘independent’ institutions,” said Sara Vakhshouri, head of consultancy SVB Energy International and a fellow at the Atlantic Council who follows Saudi policy closely.

S&P Platts:
Oct. 20, 2017

Analysis: Business as usual for Iran oil exports as market eyes US sanctions threat

The oil and shipping markets remain in limbo as the world awaits action from US Congress on sanctions targeting Iran, in the wake of President Donald Trump last week declaring Tehran noncompliant with the nuclear deal.Sara Vakhshouri, an analyst with consultancy SVB Energy International who follows the country closely, said that Iran's state-owned National Iranian Oil Company does not appear to be making any preparations for sanctions to be snapped back. In a speech last week, Trump urged US lawmakers to stay in the agreement but proposed imposing new triggers that would automatically snap US sanctions back into place based on Tehran's actions. With the EU still supporting the JCPOA, Iran is hoping for "minimal impact" from Trump's decertification, Vakhshouri said, but if Iran were to face new sanctions that are supported by international partners, it will have to become more creative in its approach to oil exports. "[Iran] could use different tactics to sell its oil, ranging from discounting its crude oil, selling oil in local currencies, [or] ultimately doing oil-for-goods or services deals, like its agreement with Russia," said Vakshouri, a fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington. Russia and Iran have a deal in place for state-owned Russian company Promsyryoimport to buy up to 100,000 b/d from NIOC partly in exchange for goods, oil equipment and services for Iran. Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said October 4 that the deal could be implemented "within a month."

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW):
Oct. 16, 2017

US Action Could Wreck Iran’s Oil Recovery

With the US out and a schism in the Western alliance, Tehran would have to count on the EU reviving measures it took in the 1990s to protect European companies doing business with Iran from possible US retaliation. Iran is understandably keen to gain and retain the support of European oil companies. It is unable to attract any US oil partners and major projects with Chinese and other Asian counterparts have not gone well. Restored US sanctions would land European companies, especially those with US business interests, in the crossfire. As well as Total, German industrial giant Siemens and French carmaker Renault have struck deals since sanctions were removed that could be put at risk. Tehran’s best hope would be an isolated Washington and an EU willing to back European business. But there’s obviously room for ambivalence. “EU governments would do their best to convince and encourage their companies to do business with Iran,” says Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International. “However, those companies that have significant business interest in the US would be hesitant to prevent any penalties from the US government side.”

Oil and Gas Journal:
Sept. 25, 2017

Global refined product markets may grow less certain, speaker warns

Global oil product markets could become as unstable as their crude oil counterparts because changing product specifications could reduce output from overseas refineries that have not been updated, a leading observer said. US refiners, which already export significant refined product volumes, potentially could send more overseas, suggested Sara Vakhshouri, a non-resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. “When it comes to refined products, India, Korea, and the US are the major players because their refineries are more sophisticated,” she said during a Sept. 20 presentation at the Institute of World Politics. “It’s important to emphasize US refined products, which have had more of a market impact than US crude. In the near future, more of them could be sold in China.” Vakhshouri said that changes in the International Maritime Organization’s forthcoming new bunker fuel requirement will have a major impact in countries like Iran, which have basic refineries that have not changed over several decades. US refiners are much better positioned with their capacity to make light products from heavy crudes, she indicated. She said that while depressed crude prices created strong gasoline demand, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reduced production by 1.2 million b/d in the face of a 1.4-1.5 million b/d increase in crude demand in 2017. To keep inventories below a 5-year average and prices above $40/bbl, another 400,000-700,000-b/d cut will be necessary to keep prices above $50/bbl, Vakhshouri said. “Saudi Arabia still has a huge production range that’s larger than other OPEC members and could be reduced,” she said. “We think the Saudis will want to maintain their swing producer role and their 2 million b/d of spare capacity.” Liquefied natural gas markets are less flexible because long-term commitments are required, and production capacity is higher than trading volumes, Vakhshouri said. “Most LNG that is produced in the US is sold to middle-men instead of end users,” she noted. “LNG in Asia and the Middle East is price lower than in the US because it’s based on crude oil’s price. US LNG may start with a lower gas price, but transportation costs are so high it’s not competitive in many markets.” Trends through 2022 Vakhshouri said that by 2022, global LNG export capacity will grow to 650 bcm/year from 452 bcm/year in 2016, and the US will account for 40% of the increase with a 90 bcm/year increase to 106.7 bcm/year. Australia’s production could grow 30 bcm/year to 117.8 bcm/year, while Qatar’s could climb 30 bcm/year to 104.9 bcm/year during that period. She said she expects annual demand to grow 1.6%/year to almost 4,000 bcm from 3,630 bcm in 2016, with China representing 40% of the increase. Primary demand will move from power generation to industries, she predicted. Japan’s expected to push for more flexible contracts might have a major impact on global LNG markets, Vakhshouri said. “From 2025 to 2030, US LNG could be a major source for bunkering,” she said. Asked if US gas pipelines could support more LNG exports, Vakhshouri said she thought they could, although regional prices may pose a problem. “European countries are keen on expanding their LNG supplies and diversifying their sources, but at the end of the day, their tendency is to buy gas from the least expensive supplier,” she said. “Major international companies in Europe are looking into investing in Iran, but it doesn’t involve gas because Russia still influences prices so heavily,” Vakhshouri said. “The Qatari government has not used its gas as a political weapon, proving instead that it’s a reliable supplier.”

S&P Platts:
Aug. 9, 2017

Iran's battle for Asian oil market share intensifies

Iran's crude and condensate exports fell almost 5% on the month in July and the country now faces a stiff test to maintain its market in Asia as exports to the region trend lower while it still relies on Europe to take one-third of its exports. Total estimated export volume on Aframaxes, Suezmaxes and VLCCs from Iranian ports in July fell almost 5% to 2.37 million b/d from 2.49 million b/d in June, according to data from cFlow, Platts trade flow software. "The market share competition in Asia is very tight and Iran doesn't have any active policy to compete with other major producers in this market (Saudi, Russia and US)," said Sara Vakhshouri, a Middle East expert who runs consultancy SVB Energy International. "Iran is just filling the gap in Europe caused by OPEC production. However the European market doesn't have much more room to absorb extra supplies. Another important issue is that Iran's heavy crude types have a higher chance to be sold in Asia but most of its light crude oil goes to Europe," she added.

S&P Platts:
July 21, 2017

Analysis: OPEC/non-OPEC committee has much to discuss but no consensus yet on deeper oil cuts

While many other analysts said that such a drastic move by the Saudis was unlikely, Sara Vakhshouri, who heads consultancy SVB Energy International, noted that the kingdom's production was still significantly above its production level in November 2014, when OPEC launched its pump-at-will market share strategy. That means Saudi Arabia theoretically has room to cut, should it decide to do so, said Vakhshouri, who is also a fellow at the Atlantic Council. "Saudi petroleum officials on different occasions have indicated that they are not only interested in maintaining their market share but also to control and manage the market," she said. If Saudi Arabia were to agree to a cut, the market's heavy/light imbalance could be exacerbated. The current oversupply in the oil market primarily rests in light, sweet barrels due to production growth in US shale, along with Libya and Nigeria. Saudi Arabia and most of OPEC's key Middle East members, who have shouldered the bulk of the cuts, largely produce sourer and heavier grades, and the market in those crudes has tightened substantially from the deal. Alternatively, Saudi Arabia, which has continued to pump its lighter grades, even as they have cut output in its heavier crudes, could be persuaded to change its balance of production, Vakhshouri said.

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly:
July 10, 2017

Will Total Deal Open Floodgates For Iran?

To do so, Iran’s strategy will be to continue its two-track approach of direct negotia- tions and bid rounds to award new upstream deals. “Being able to sign a 20-year upstream investment agreement with a French company at the time that [the US] administration is taking a tough stance toward Iran has a strategic importance for Iran,” says Sara Vakhshouri, president at Washington-based consultancy SVB Energy International and an Iran expert.

Aljazeera:
June 15, 2017

Qatar’s battle for LNG market share

New supplies created a significant glut in the LNG market, and according to Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International in Washington, DC, market glut had a significant downward impact on the LNG prices and the spot LNG prices in Asia in 2016, which compared to 2014, dropped by 70% and reached slightly above $5/ mBtu. Pricing arrangements have become more flexible as well and buyers, having a choice, have begun to dictate the terms and contract length. Moreover, according to Vakhshouri, the trajectory of the LNG market in the medium term and up to the early 2020s does not show any balancing of the market, and LNG production capacity is expected to remain beyond the trade volumes. In 2016, the global LNG capacity was over 300 million tonnes, while only 268 million tonnes were traded. Vakhshouri does not expect Qatar’s LNG supply to non-Arab consumers to be interrupted, but the change of trade flow and replacement of natural gas exports to UAE could have impact on the LNG prices. The United Arab Emirates imports about 1.8 billion cubic feet/day of gas from Qatar via the Dolphin pipeline. “This is a significant volume and even though the LNG market is in no shortage, replacing such an amount with non-Qatari LNG could have impact on the LNG prices.”

Informa:
June 5, 2017

Will US LNG Make a Splash in China?

"China LNG demand is growing rapidly more than was anticipated by market experts. China's LNG imports in January 2017 rose above 39% in compare to its average imports in January 2016. It is expected that Chinese LNG imports surpass South Korea and make this country the second largest LNG importer after Japan. By 2020-2021 market expects to have further LNG demand growth from China and this could offset some of the extra supply in the market, particularly from Australian and US LNG supply growth. This could also have impact on the LNG prices specially in Asia. The growing LNG demand creates a great opportunity for US LNG industry to sign and secure long-term agreement with this country. US share of LNG exports to China in March was about 7% of this country's imports and this number could increase further in the medium and long term."

Bloomberg:
May 24, 2017

Iran's Maxed-Out Crude Output Eases OPEC Push to Extend Cuts

“If Iran doesn’t succeed in attracting investment, the natural pressure drop of its mature field will be a major hurdle for sustaining production at the current level,” said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington, D.C.-based consultant SVB Energy International LLC.

Bloomberg:
May 22, 2017

Rouhani Win Seen Speeding Iran's Oil Push Amid Trump Threats

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in a stronger position after his re-election to push through plans for wooing foreign investors the country needs to boost oil production, according to analysts at Cornerstone Global Associates and SVB Energy. Rouhani’s political foes have less interest in blocking the new contract now that he’s won a new term, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington, D.C.-based consultant SVB Energy. Even so, international investors “are still worried about remaining U.S. sanctions and possible future sanctions that could target Iran’s missile program,” she said by email.

S&P Global Platts:
May 10, 2017

Analysis: Iran sees share of Asian crude oil market slip

"Iran is losing its market share in Asia to Saudi Arabia but on the other hand its share in European markets is increasing," said Sara Vakhshouri, a Middle East expert who runs consultancy SVB Energy International. "Unlike Saudi Arabia which tries to secure a long-term market share in Asia, Iran doesn't have a long-term market strategy and its focus is day-to-day sale of its oil. At the most it tries to secure annual term-contracts with its customers," she added. "Iran is losing its market share in Asia to Saudi Arabia but on the other hand its share in European markets is increasing," said Sara Vakhshouri, a Middle East expert who runs consultancy SVB Energy International. "Unlike Saudi Arabia which tries to secure a long-term market share in Asia, Iran doesn't have a long-term market strategy and its focus is day-to-day sale of its oil. At the most it tries to secure annual term-contracts with its customers," she added.

S&P Global Platts:
April 9, 2017

ANALYSIS: OPEC/non-OPEC cuts may be at risk by Syria military escalation

Sara Vakhshouri, a Middle East expert who runs consultancy SVB Energy International, said Iranian energy officials would be loathe to give up the gains the country has seen in its oil production. The OPEC/non-OPEC deal gave it the best possible result, she said -- an allowance to increase output slightly by 90,000 b/d, as well as the ability to share in any price gains from the collective cuts. "Iran like other OPEC producers doesn't see any economic benefits from a price collapse and low oil prices," she said. "As long as the other players are sticking to the agreement, Iran should also play accordingly."

S&P Global, Platts:
March 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia may insist on Iran oil output cuts to continue OPEC deal: sources

From Iran's viewpoint, the country is already in compliance with its quota, making it unlikely to acquiesce to any demands to cut production, said Sara Vakhshouri, president of consultancy SVB Energy International. Vakhshouri estimates that Iran may be able to raise its production capacity by the end of 2017 to a total of 3.78 million b/d, but no further due to financial constraints. Keeping the current ceiling on Iranian oil output may be all Saudi Arabia can hope for, she said. "Iran's production capacity by the end of 2017 is very close to what they agreed to produce in the first half of the year," said Vakhshouri, who is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. "Hence, even if there are political disagreements, Iran can't technically produce much higher."

Infroma:
March 5, 2017

Will the US Lead the LNG Pack? 10 Energy Thought Leaders Weigh In

"At the current time the global LNG market is overwhelmed with supply and the demand growth was not significant in the past years. Also the price differentials between different markets particularly between US and Asia has been reduced significantly. However because of the US unique position in the market and flexibility of its contracts and destination, US can become the future “swing producer” in the LNG and gas market. This is very crucial for the security of the gas supplies and the LNG market. The Fukushima disaster not only surged Japan’s demand for natural gas but also it increased the price differences between Asia and other regions. One of the causes of this price spike was due to lack of flexibility in re-directing the LNG supplies. Solid long-term contracts with fixed destination created challenges for major suppliers like Qatar to change their trade flow and re-direct their supplies to Japan in the shortest time. Hence having a supplier such as the US with higher flexibility and ability to play the role of the swing producer will increase the security of the global LNG and gas supplies particularly at the time of a sudden supply interruption in the market."

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW):
Jan. 9, 2017

Trump Impedes Iran Upstream Aims in 2017

Iran’s oil sector exceeded most expectations this year, but the real test is to come in 2017. Following the lifting of sanctions last January, Iran added almost 1 million barrels per day last year, bringing it more revenue and prestige within Opec. But the next expansion phase is trickier, and oil markets should not expect Iran to produce much more than its current 3.8 million b/d in 2017. For higher output, it will need the financial might and expertise of foreign companies, which might be harder to get after Donald Trump becomes US president this month (PIW Nov.7’16). One year ago, there was plenty of doubt that Iran would be able to meet its promises of add- ing 500,000 b/d “immediately” after sanctions were lifted Jan. 16 and then win its customers back in an oversupplied oil market. Now, there is limited room to boost production in the short term, and the big jump — to 4.6 million b/d — will have to wait until 2021. “We won’t see much of an increase in Iran’s production in 2017,” says Sara Vakhshouri, an Iran expert and president at Washington-based SVB Energy International. Some capacity expansions are expected, potentially around 50,000-90,000 b/d, she said. These additions are likely to come from fields in southwestern Iran, on the border of Iraq.

Interfax Energy:
Dec. 22, 2016

Iran signs more initial agreements with IOCs

The agreements somewhat undermine the tender process. By opting to negotiate on a one-to-one basis, Iran may not secure the best deals, suggested Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International. "Signing individual contracts [as opposed to] a public bidding round reduces the transparency and the chance of having a completion among investors and being able to choose among different investors," Vakhshouri told Interfax Natural Gas Daily. "These contracts are only [heads of agreements] – they are not the final contracts and we cannot evaluate them until the final contracts are signed," she added.

S & P Global- Platts:
Dec. 13, 2016

Tillerson to push energy security, fight sanctions as top US diplomat

Sara Vakhshouri, an expert on Iran sanctions and the Middle East, said the prospects for easing sanctions on major oil producers will increase investment opportunities in these countries, which could increase global energy security.

Market Watch:
Dec. 3, 2016

How the OPEC deal breaks down for 3 big producers

Saudi Arabia was the big winner of the November deal. The country’s two-year-old strategy of tolerating low oil prices, sparked by an unwillingness of OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 2014 to reduce production in the face of a supply glut, clearly paid off. By not reducing production then, the Saudis gained market share, filling much of the void left by Iran’s sanctions-related supply cut of 1mbd. The November deal means the Saudis must reduce output by 486,000 barrels a day, to 10.05 million barrels a day. But this number is only 123,000 barrels below its 2015 average daily production and, indeed, higher than in previous years. This means the Kingdom’s output is remaining at its sustainable production level of around 10mbd, or nearly one-third of overall OPEC output.

Foreign Policy:
Nov. 9, 2016

With the Trump Win, Will Iran’s First Post- Sanctions Energy Deal Be Its Last?

Since sanctions were relaxed, “many Western companies did ‘window shopping’ and showed interest in investing in Iran’s energy industry,” but no deals were signed until now, said Sara Vakhshouri, a veteran of the Iranian national oil company now at the Atlantic Council. Part of that was due to a global glut of oil and natural gas, which depressed interest in new projects, but it was still “discouraging” for Iran, she told FP. But the Total deal indicates some ways to sidestep the sanctions thicket. Total is financing the deal in euros in part to avoid U.S. limitations on dollar transactions, she noted. And Vakhshouri said the deal’s timing, at least from Tehran’s point of view, was an effort to send an unmistakable signal. “By signing this deal with Total before the U.S. election is finalized, Iran eagerly sent a message to international investors that the result of the U.S. election could not have a significant impact on the nuclear deal and its energy industry,” she told Foreign Policy.

Platts:
Oct. 28, 2016

OPEC to open freeze talks to seven non-OPEC producers, as technical meeting continues

Representatives of OPEC's 14 countries will continue their freeze negotiations Saturday, with several non-OPEC producers slated to join the talks in Vienna, as the organization tries to widen the scope of the output deal it tentatively reached in Algiers. ... "Any contribution to the freeze agreement from OPEC or Russia will only last while the contributors are benefiting from that," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington. "If the prices reach a level that US shale oil production surges significantly, OPEC, Saudi Arabia and Russia will not give up their market share to their rival."...

The Cipher Brief:
Oct. 21, 2016

Corralling the Cartel: OPEC and Oil Prices

Following informal OPEC talks in Algiers, members announced that they would work out a plan to reduce collective production by approximately 200 to 700 thousand barrels per day (bpd) during their next official meeting in November. However, the actual details of who will cut and by how much remain hazy. As Founder and President of SVB Energy International, Sara Vakhshouri writes, “the main challenge after this agreement will be its implementation, the details of the agreement, and how the supply will actually be reduced."...

The Cipher Brief:
Oct. 21, 2016

EXPERT COMMENTARY The Importance of OPEC's September Agreement

The OPEC decision has both a psychological and an actual impact on the market and oil prices. At a moment, when there is a serious glut in the market, oil prices are more sensitive to any expectation of the supply and demand trend in the future. Since Iran’s nuclear deal and sanctions removal in January 2016, the prospect of Iran’s production bump has impacted expectations in the market. Iran’s production rise not only had an actual impact on market fundamentals and increased overall global supplies, it also increased the rivalry between major producers over market share. This pushed major producers like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Angola to offer further discounts to their costumers in Asian and European markets in order to maintain and increase their market shares in those regions....

Platts:
Aug. 24, 2016

The Much-Speculated OPEC Freeze And What to Watch For

Sara Vakhshouri, president of consulting firm SVB Energy and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, estimated that Iran could add 100,000 to 150,000 b/d to the market between now and the end of the year. Anything further, though, "would depend on Iran's ability to find new markets and sign new term contracts," she said.

Politico:
July 15, 2016

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal

"Iran’s oil and gas sectors haven’t seen any major investment yet", said Sara Vakhshouri, an energy analyst in Washington who previously worked in Iran’s public and private energy sectors. Vakshouri lays the blame more on Iran’s shoulders than on its opponents here. Six months since sanctions were removed, Iran still hasn’t finalized its upstream investment regulations under a new petroleum contract. She blames rivalries among Iranian political groups and a lack of leadership over economic and industrial policy.

Economist (Economist Intelligence Unit):
July 1, 2016

Iran: Scenarios, opportunities, and challenges facing new investors

SVB Energy International has been quoted in Economist (Economist Intelligence Unit) report on "Iran: Scenarios, opportunities, and challenges facing new investors".

Platts:
May 23, 2016

Complaints About The US Aside, Iran Seen Sticking to Nuclear Deal

"If Iran walks away from the nuclear deal, it is going to lose a lot," said Sara Vakhshouri, an independent consultant on Iranian and Middle East energy and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. "The country would face tougher sanctions and limitations than before in the low price environment." "Companies that at this time last year were impatiently waiting for the nuclear deal to enter Iran's energy industry have all lost their excitement in the process of waiting for the final contract approval," Vakhshouri said.

Energy Intelligence:
May 9, 2016

Iran Eyes Summer for Upstream Opening

Approval of the IPC now rests not with the parliament but with Iran's General Inspection Organization, an arm of the country's judiciary, which has asked for a dozen or so revisions to be considered before it is approved. Zanganeh has agreed to consider these revisions and the IPC could be ready to be launched "by June or July" if the approval process goes smoothly, says Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington­based consultancy SVB Energy International.

Gulf News:
May 8, 2016

Saudi overhaul leaves crude oil policy intact

“I don’t expect the kingdom to cut its oil production at some point soon or by the June Opec meeting. The kingdom will not give up its market share to its rivals either Iran or Russia, or the US shale oil,” Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International based in Washington told Gulf News by email. On the new oil minister, Sara said Saudi Arabia followed its traditional trend of appointing a technical person as the Minister of Petroleum and head of Saudi Aramco, rather than just choosing a member of the royal family to pursue this job. “Khalid Al Falih has a technical petroleum background and education and has more than three decades of experience working in the energy industry and Saudi Aramco,” she said about the new oil minister. “The replacement of the Saudi Oil minister (Al Nuaimi) was expected and was not shocking to us especially at the time that the Deputy Crown Prince is getting ready to shake up the Kingdom’s energy and economic policy,” she said on the sacking of Al Naimi.

Marketplace:
April 1, 2016

Saudi Arabia to create huge investment fund

Despite the fall in oil prices, there should be plenty of buyers, from investment banks to other oil companies, said Sara Vakhshouri, a fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center. "Many people in the world want to have access or shares of the hugest oil company in the world," she said. Saudia Arabia could take a page from Norway, Vakhshouri said, which has used its oil riches to build one of the world's most successful sovereign wealth funds.

Oil and Gas Journal:
March 11, 2016

Japan mulls strategic moves in changing energy landscape, forum told

Iran's return to global crude markets with the lifting of Western sanctions against it has revived its rivalry with Saudi Arabia, other speakers pointed out. "Saudi Arabia does not seem inclined to give up the market share it gained while Iran was under international sanctions," said Sara Vakhshouri, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center. "But it was Russia which took Iran's traditional oil market share in China. In January, the Chinese imports of oil from Iran were less than in January 2015 when Iran was still under sanctions." Despite differences in their governments, the Iranians and Saudis are both trying to structure new oil supply deals in ways that reflect current global market realities, she said. "Now that a nuclear deal has been reached, Iran is suddenly open to all kinds of investments after so many years of seeing no one except the Chinese and Russians," Vakhshouri said. "Saudi Arabia has made significant agricultural investments in the US. It also owns the largest US refinery, the Motiva plant in Port Arthur, where it can decide to send its crude oil."

Natural Gas Europe:
Feb. 22, 2016

Iran's New Petroleum Contract: A Break With the Past

Iran has huge oil and gas reserves and is among the top countries with oil and gas reserves, but years of sanctions and war since the 1979 revolution have prevented the country from receiving the required technology and investment. It is hoping that the new upstream contract will end the isolation. In an interview with NGE, Iranian-born analyst Sara Vakhshouri, who runs Washington-based energy consultancy SVP and is also a senior energy fellow with the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council said that all the ups and downs Iran has faced make it an untapped market, especially in the gas field: "Iran has huge gas reserves and the production costs of oil and gas are very low, the complexity of the rocks are very simple, the rate of return and production is high, especially in the gas fields. It's really an untapped market."

Market Place:
Feb. 21, 2016

What's up with Saudi Arabia and its oil?

Mideast energy consultant Sara Vakhshouri said a price war sinks high-cost producers, like fracking companies. They drill in shale rock in America and want to go global. "The low prices really kept the shale revolution a U.S. phenomenom, rather than expanding it to countries like China," he said. And, Vakhshouri said the move to cut prices keeps the world's car drivers addicted to petroleum, rather than trying alternatives. "The low oil prices could slightly push global demand high," he said. "It of course makes it harder for renewables to progress as fast as they were doing."

Financial Post:
Feb. 18, 2016

Oil rally fueled by OPEC noise, just bulls clutching at straws'

"If there is a will between Saudi Arabia and Russia to control the market, it (the freeze) is going to happen," says Sara Vakhshouri, a Washington-based analyst who once worked for the National Iranian Oil Company. "But if they are waiting for Iran, it's not a rational decision."

Fuel Fix:
Feb. 15, 2016

Access to oil markets only a first step for Iran, UH panel says

"Iran's main challenge is finding customers and selling oil in the current market," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of energy consulting group SVB Energy International. Iranian officials have said they plan to immediately boost production by 500,000 barrels per day and add another 500,000 barrels per day over the next six months. But those barrels will need to carve out space in a global market already flush with oil, Vakhshouri said. Europe could be the prime target. "Iran lost about 600,000 barrels per day of market share in Europe when sanctions took effect," she said, adding that they may be able to claw back as much as 250,000 barrels per day of crude.

Foreign Policy,:
Jan. 22, 2016

Davos Diary: Iran Insists It's Open for Business. Will It Have Any Customers?

complexity are very attractive for investors, particularly at the current time of low oil prices," Sara Vakhshouri, formerly of the Iranian national oil company and now head of energy consultancy SVB Energy International, told Foreign Policy. The new contracts, Vakhshouri said, are "much more flexible and attractive" than the old terms, but by themselves would not likely be enough to entice Big Oil away from easier projects elsewhere. In that sense, she said, low oil prices and low production costs are "Iran's lucky charm to attract international investors." For the gas game, Vakhshouri said, Iran's "massive gas reserves and unique geographical position" could one day make it a key player for markets both West and East.

Energy Fuse:
Jan. 5, 2016

Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Rising Middle East Tensions Add To Oil Market Uncertainty

"Even though this is the strongest direct tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia since the 1980s, the possibility of a military clash or any action that could interrupt the oil production and supply flow of the two countries is very less likely," Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based consultancy SVB Energy International, told The Fuse. "Both countries are heavily dependent on their oil revenue, particularly at the current time of low oil prices." "Ironically, the events could actually contribute to the market's expectation of oversupply in the near future as it loses hope in cooperation between the two countries to control output," said Vakhshouri.

The Guardian:
Jan. 2, 2016

Foreign firms dash to get in on Iran 'gold rush' - but US companies left out in cold

"Despite its huge oil and gas reserves, US energy companies are treading carefully. Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said: "I really cannot imagine in 2016 seeing any major US energy companies going in. "Very important for these firms is security. Even if the sanctions are lifted, if you're Chevron or ExxonMobil and you're sending American personnel to Iran, you're going to be concerned until relations are normalized."

USA Today:
Dec. 16, 2015

End of oil export ban will have a small impact in the short term

Sara Vakhshouri, an energy analyst at SVB Energy International and the Atlantic Council think tank, said the end of the export ban will help stabilize global oil prices. Some of the world's major producing countries, such as Iraq, Syria and Libya have oil fields that are threatened or under control of terrorists, such as the Islamic State group. International airstrikes to counter those terrorists, who have sold oil to raise funds, have destroyed oil facilities. That takes that oil off the marketand affects prices, Vakhshouri said. "So it's really important to have supply from countries not in these areas, including the U.S.," she said.

Real Clear Energy,:
Dec. 13, 2015

LNG Exports the Most Powerful Demonstration of US Geopolitics in Decades

With the signing of the nuclear deal in July, Iran has decided to move on, and its natural gas industry expects to benefit from increased trade in oil and gas services and technology that are no longer being held up by sanctions. "They are very aware that they lost the opportunity for exporting gas as LNG," said Sara Vakhshouri, an Iranian energy analyst with SVB Energy International in Washington. "Iran's major investment for gas export is by pipeline" to neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, India, and Oman.

USA Today:
Dec. 12, 2015

U.N.: Iran conducted nuclear weapons research as recently as 2009

Iran is poised to add a half million barrels a day to the saturated world oil supply by mid-2016, once the sanctions relief goes into effect, said Sara Vakhshouri, a senior energy fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington. Positive news on Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers "could have a psychological downward impact on the global oil prices," Vakhshouri said. "This could happen even before Iran increases its export volumes."

Oil and Gas Journal:
Dec. 10, 2015

Senate panel told that effectively curbing ISIS oil revenue won't be easy

"If Iran comes out of isolation, it won't depend as much on its oil exports as before," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVG Energy International and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center. "The emphasis will be on processing more oil and gas domestically and turning it into higher-value products." National Iranian Oil Co. also can be expected to place a greater emphasis on developing the country's huge gas resources, Vakhshouri said. This could have a strong export impact not only as gas but also as electricity generated from gas for sales to Iraq, Pakistan, and other nearby nations, she said, adding that Iran's location also could make it a significant energy transit point.

Oil and Gas 360:
Dec. 3, 2015

New Iranian Oil and Gas Contracts Extend 20-25 Years

This new model offers an attractive option to companies looking for projects in the Middle East, Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International and Senior Energy Fellow with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, told Oil & Gas 360. "It's difficult to attract investment anywhere right now with low oil prices, but low production costs mean Iran is still competitive," said Vakhshouri. "The IPCs are very similar to the contracts offered by Iraq's central government, but without some of the security issues associated with groups like ISIS." "NIOC hopes to increase the quality of work and protect its oil and gas reservoirs by engaging international companies for longer periods of time," said Vakhshouri. "This will give the investors a more vested stake in the field and could create political advantages for the country, as investing companies would have long-term interest in Iran." Another major concern for companies looking to invest in Iranian oil and gas fields are their options for arbitration should problems arise during the project. "Companies with bilateral agreements with Iran can go through international arbitration if problems arise," said Vakhshouri. "Otherwise, they will need to go through the Iranian court system." "[Zanganeh] is trying to leave the door open for more input from countries as Iran prepares for sanctions to be lifted," said Vakhshouri, when asked about the oil minister's comments.

USA Today:
Nov. 23, 2015

Analysis: Russia-Iran courtship has its limits

Iran, whose economy has been stifled by years of nuclear sanctions, plans to develop its oil and natural gas fields and increase output by 1 million barrels a day, or about 25%, by mid-2016, says energy analyst Sara Vakhshouri, of SVB Energy International in Washington. That will put downward pressure on prices that are already at their lowest point in decades, Vakhshouri wrote in a recent study.

Harriyet:
Nov. 22, 2015

Dk petrol fiyatlar ran' cazip klyor

Atlantik Konseyi Kresel Enerji Merkezi'nde Kdemli Aratrmac olan Sara Vakhshouri ise ran'n petroln kresel pazarda satmak iin kendi ham petrol tanker filosunu kurmaya baladn syleyerek, "ran yaptrmlar kalkar kalkmaz ham petrol retimini gnlk 500 bin varil, bir sonraki alt ayda 500 bin varil daha artrabilir" dedi.

Bloomberg:
Sept. 10, 2015

Iran Gets Ready to Sell to the World

.... Even if Iran can increase production as quickly as Zanganeh claims, it may have to incentivize buyers by offering lower prices or by trading oil for goods or services, says Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, an energy consulting group in Washington. That's because the Saudis have used long-term contracts to lock in customers who not long ago bought Iranian oil....

Energy Compass (Energy Intelligence):
Sept. 4, 2015

Iran Avoiding The Guards

... While Iran's Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act generally puts no limitations on the share of investment for foreign investors, enabling up to 100% ownership, the situation is different in the upstream oil and gas sector. "Foreign investors were in the past required to enter into joint ventures with an Iranian local partner. This is to maintain domestic control over sensitive upstream oil and gas projects," said Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington-based SVB Energy International, an energy consultancy... ...Experts say the guards are connected to many, possibly hundreds, of companies in the country, making it potentially difficult and time-consuming to avoid entering into business with them, knowingly or not. "This will complicate and prolong the duration of negotiations and choosing the domestic partner for the foreign firms," Vakhshouri said...

Reuters:
Aug. 17, 2015

Foreign firms scramble to fix Iran's refineries once sanctions end

Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, said scores of western oil industry officials are clamoring for this business. There would be huge competition but the right companies should be able to succeed. "If you can bring the technology needed, it shouldn't be tough," Vakhshouri said

Daily Sabah:
July 22, 2015

Iran to become competitor to Russia in energy markets

Sara Vakhshouri, president of the Washington-based SVB Energy International and a consultant at the National Iranian Oil Company, said that Iran would be an important competitor to Russia in the global oil and natural gas markets after the nuclear agreement was signed with P5+1 countries comprising the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany. Vakhshouri told Anadolu Agency that there would be a fierce competition in the global energy markets between Iran and Russia, which have become allies recently thanks to the mutual steps taken by the two countries. Emphasizing that European energy companies have already started to negotiate with Iranian energy authorities due to the country's vast oil and natural gas reserves, Vakhshouri said: "Iran has made new investment regulations for the energy sector. Those regulations are creating a much more attractive investment climate compared to the past." Now that sanction will be lifted and new regulations are enforced, Iran can reach the technology that it needs to increase its oil and natural gas production, Vakhshouri said, adding: "Europe is trying to decrease its dependency on Russia oil and natural gas after the Ukraine crisis. Iran is a perfect alternative for Europe's energy diversity." She also stressed that Russia was not as attractive as before for energy investments because of the sanctions imposed on the country.

Anadolu Agency:
July 21, 2015

A new era for 'energy titans' begins

Sara Vakhshouri, the head of Washington-based energy company, SVB Energy International, and a former advisor to National Iranian Oil Company International, told Anadolu Agency that many European energy companies have already started negotiations with Iranian energy officials. Vakhshouri, who noted Iran's massive oil and gas resources, said that its oil, gas and condensate production will rise in the next few years. She added that Iran has introduced new investment plans to attract foreign investment in their upstream energy sector. The so-called 'Iran Petroleum Contracts,' offer more enticing terms than their previous oil contracts.

TimeTurk:
July 21, 2015

Dnya enerji piyasalarnda Rusya-ran rekabeti

Vakhshouri, AA muhabirine yapt aklamada, son dnemde karlkl atlan admlarla mttefik konumuna gelen Rusya ve ran arasnda zellikle kresel enerji piyasalarnda byk bir rekabet yaanacan savundu. Sahip olduu nemli petrol ve doalgaz rezervleri nedeniyle Avrupal enerji irketlerinin imdiden ranl enerji yetkilileriyle grmeye baladna iaret eden Vakhshouri, "ran enerji sektr iin yeni yatrm dzenlemeleri gerekletirdi. Bu dzenlemeler, eskiye oranla ok daha cazip bir yatrm ortam yaratyor" dedi.

EuroNews:
July 21, 2015

Iran enerjide Rusya'ya rakip olacak

ran Ulusal Petrol irketi danmanlarndan SVB Enerji irketi Bakan Sara Vakhshouri enerji piyasalarnn geleceiyle ilgili AA'ya konutu. Vakshouri, son dnemde yakn stratejik ilikiler gelitiren Rusya ve ran arasnda, kresel enerji piyasalarnda byk bir rekabet yaanacan savundu.

Foreign Policy,:
July 14, 2015

Iran's Return to Oil Markets Is Good for Energy Firms but Bad for Russia

Sara Vakhshouri, a former advisor to National Iranian Oil Company International, said Iran is going to need quite a bit of outside help to reach its target of producing 5 million barrels per day by 2020. "To reach this goal Iran would need $70 billion of investment in its oil and gas fields," Vakhshouri, who is now president of SVB Energy International, wrote in a note circulated Tuesday morning. here will be a short-term impact to Tehran's getting back into the oil game, though it won't be nearly as substantial as the long-term impact. Iran is thought to have oil reserves of approximately 40 million barrels sitting on offshore tankers waiting to be sold. "This amount of stored oil can be sold even before any removal of oil export related sanctions. China, India, South Korea and Japan [all] have waivers from sanctions," Vakhshouri wrote. "Iran can also increase its oil and condensate production up to 800,000 barrels per day within the next six to 12 months," Vakhshouri said in a subsequent interview with FP. Vakhshouri said this presents Russian President Vladimir Putin with a difficult choice: cooperate or suffer. "If the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East don't cause any supply interruption, the market, the oil producers mainly OPEC and Russia have to agree whether to reduce their production or start a price war," she said.

Oil and Gas 360:
July 14, 2015

Iran Deal Reached: Predictions on Added Crude Exports Range from 400-800 MBOPD

A Credit Suisse conference call that was held with Iranian expert Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki forecast about 500 MBOPD coming back online by year-end 2015; analysts at Raymond James expect more than 500 MBOPD in the next 12-18 months; SVB Energy International predicts as much as 800 MBOPD (400-600 MBOPD in crude and an additional 200 MBOPD in condensate) in the next 6-12 months; Wood Mackenzie expects that exports will not reach 600 MBOPD until year-end 2017; and the IEA anticipates 800 MBOPD "within months of lifting sanctions."

VOX:
July 14, 2015

What the Iran nuclear deal means for oil prices

Even if all goes according to plan, the US and EU won't lift sanctions on Iran until 2016 at the earliest. Once that happens, Iran can finally start selling some of the roughly 30 to 40 million barrels of oil it currently has stored in vast floating tankers off its coast. That could push down, modestly, on oil prices.

Washington Examiner:
July 14, 2015

Iranian oil expected to drive prices down

Iran could boost production from 2.9 million barrels to 4.2 million barrels per day by 2020, said Sara Vakhshouri, an energy analyst with SVB International. Iran also could immediately lower prices because it has stored about 37 million barrels of oil and condensate, a form of light oil, on offshore tankers that it can quickly release to the market.

USA Today:
July 14, 2015

Oil prices turn volatile after Iran reaches nuke deal

Sara Vakhshouri, a Washington-based energy analyst at SVB Energy International, said that with Iran's sanctions lifted it would be able to boost its oil production from 2.9 million barrels a day to 4.2 million barrels a day by 2020. Oil prices can also be expected to drop, Vakhshouri said, because Iran has as much as 37 million barrels of crude in storage on tankers floating in the Persian Gulf.

Lobelog:
July 11, 2015

The Future of Saudi-Iranian Relations Will Be Written in Oil

Sara Vakhshouri, whose analyses of Iran's energy sector have been featured on LobeLog, argues that the oil ministry has set its sights too high. She recently wrote, "Iran would probably be capable of adding up to 800,000 b/d of oil and liquids to its production in the next 6 to 12 months." The decision to actually produce that amount will also depend on the timing of sanctions relief and the state of the market itself. Regardless, Iran will need access to international investment and technology in order to sustain and then expand this forecasted production capacity. Its aging oil fields are performing poorly in the absence of technically sophisticated injections of gas and water. Vakhshouri estimates that since 2011, Iran has failed to meet more than 60% of its injection targets. She believes that Iran's goal of reaching an output of 5.7 million b/d is overly ambitious. "It will take at least 3 to 4 years for Iran (from the time that it gets access to international investment and technology) to regain its pre-sanctions crude oil' production capacity," said Vakhshouri. Since Iran's production capacity hovered around 4 million b/d in the late 2000s, Iran could reasonably add a little over 1 million b/d in the first few years after an agreement.

نحوه بازگشت ایران به بازارهای انرژی دنیا در دوران پساتحریم

وسسه مشاوره انرژی SVB به تازگی در گزارشی با بررسی شرایط بازگشت ایران به بازارهای جهانی نفت و گاز در دوره پساتحریم پیش بینی کرد که این کشور می تواند ظرف ٦ ماه تا یک سال، روزانه ٨٠٠ هزار بشکه به تولید نفت خام و مایعات گازی خود بیفزاید. به گزارش شانا، موسسه مشاوره انرژی اس وی بی (SVB Energy International LLC) مستقر در واشینگتن در گزارشی با عنوان «بازگشت ایران به بازار انرژی در دوره پساتحریم» برآورد کرد که تولید کنونی نفت خام ایران روزانه حدود ٢ میلیون و ٩٠٠ هزار بشکه است، به طوری که تولید میعانات گازی و مایعات گازی حدود ٦٩٢ هزار تا ٧١٠ هزار بشکه در روز است. مطالعات موسسه مشاوره انرژی اس وی بی نشان می دهد که ایران پس از دستیابی به یک توافق جامع هسته ای با کشورهای گروه ١+٥ می تواند ظرف ٦ ماه تا یک سال روزانه ٨٠٠ هزار بشکه نفت و مایعات گازی به تولید خود بیفزاید. ...بر اساس این گزارش، روزانه ٤٠٠ تا ٦٠٠ هزار بشکه از این مقدار نفت خام و ٢٠٠ هزار بشکه دیگر آن میعانات گازی خواهد بود.

Sina Finance:
July 7, 2015

伊朗核谈判有望达成协议 原油暴跌近8%

前伊朗石油公司分析师、现SVB主席Sara Vakhshouri表示,“一旦协议达成,伊朗可以增加20万桶/日的凝析油产量。另外,随着West Karun油田项目的完成,到2020年伊朗还可以额外增加65-70万桶的原油日产量。” 不过,Vakhshouri指出,要在2020年达到上述的中期产量目标,伊朗需要700亿美元的投资。 他还表示,到2018年South Pars的凝析油日产量将触及70-80万桶,2020年再升至100万桶。

USA Today:
July 5, 2015

Lawmakers alarmed over Iranian nuclear windfall

The lifting of other sanctions would allow Iran to boost its oil production from 2.9 million barrels a day to 4.2 million barrels a day by 2020, according to a report by Washington-based energy analyst Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International. Oil prices are likely to fall in reaction to Iran's new oil output, Vakhshouri said.

MEES:
July 3, 2015

Iran's Oil Production Boost Scenarios In A Post-Sanctions Era

The latest status of Iranian oil and gas fields indicate that Iran's cur- rent crude oil' production is about 2.9mn b/d, while its condensate and NGL produc- tion is about 692,000-710,000 b/d. Most of Iran's condensate is the by-product of the non-associated gas in the giant South Pars giant gas field, shared with Qatar. Iran's current condensate production is about 480,000 b/d and is expected to rise to 630,000 b/d by mid-2016. Field-by-field oil and gas studies indicate that Iran would probably be capable of adding 500,000- 800,000 b/d of oil and liquids to its production in the next 6-12 months. Some 300,000 to 500,000 b/d of this will be crude oil and NIOC can also add additional 200,000 b/d of condensate to its liquid production by mid-2016. This additional condensate will be from Phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the South Pars gas field...

The Hill:
June 23, 2015

Iranian nuke deal won't lead to immediate windfall, think tank asserts

"A nuclear deal with Iran will not initiate an unchecked windfall of capital into Iran, a factor that may undermine Iran's confidence in a deal and the incentive structure for its adherence," authors Elizabeth Rosenberg and Sara Vakhshouri wrote. "The maintenance of some sanctions on Iran, even in a best-case scenario for nuclear diplomacy, and the threat of re-imposing tough economic sanctions if Iran circumvents the deal will serve concomitantly to temper what would otherwise be enthusiastic and potentially ubiquitous investment into Iran.

Foreign Policy,:
June 23, 2015

Will Western Firms Really Race Into Iran After a Nuclear Deal?

A Center for a New American Security report released Tuesday argues it could take months, if not years, for Western companies and institutional investors like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to invest in Iran's economy. There's a simple reason: It's not worth the risk. "The significant theme here is it's not going to be this tsunami of money pouring into Iran," Rosenberg, who is a senior fellow at CNAS, said. She coauthored the report with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International.

Platts:
June 23, 2015

Iran's oil output goals likely unrealistic because of risk, report says

"A more realistic assessment would be an expansion of up to 800,000 b/d within six months and a major oil output rebound only after 2016, though even this pace would put Iran on course for a structural shift and acceleration from the current modest pace of economic growth," the Center for a New American Security report states. The report claims it is unlikely that Iran's crude oil capacity -- currently at an estimated 3.8 million b/d -- would exceed 4.5 million to 5 million b/d by the early 2020s, or 5.5 million b/d by 2030.

Oil and Gas Journal:
June 1, 2015

IRAN FACES HURDLES HIKING OIL PRODUCTION WHEN SANCTIONS LIFTED

Dr. Sara Vakhshouri wrote a piece on Iran's technical capability and market access for increasing its oil production rebound after the sanctions. 'For an oil market destabilized by geopolitical turbulence and oversupply, an important question is when Iranian production, now limited by international sanctions, might recover and rise toward the Islamic Republic's geologic potential. The question gains importance this month, by the end of which officials of Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany are to have concluded an agreement on Iranian development of nuclear weapons. Because Iranian negotiators have made ending the sanctions against it a priority, the possibility of a surge in exports from the country looms over the market. Yet a combination of factors complicates the ability of Iran to bring large new supply quickly to the market. Sanctions on oil exports are not the only impediment. The country also must solve technical problems, grapple with international sanctions on investment, and regain lost market share...'

USA Today:
May 31, 2015

OPEC meeting may be lull before the storm

"I don't think any significant decisions will come out of this meeting," Sara Vakhshouri, a Washington energy analyst, said of the upcoming session. "But if Iran reaches a deal, there's going to be more to discuss and more expectations at the next meeting." Vakhshouri, a former market analyst for the National Iranian Oil Company, said Teheran, with a nuclear deal in hand, would insist that other OPEC members "reduce their production and open space" for Iran to sell more oil on world markets...."If everything goes well by the end of June or early July, and sanctions start easing for Iran by the end of the year, Iran's production is going to rise slightly by the end of the year," she said. However, Vakhshouri notes that a nuclear agreement alone is unlikely to trigger big changes in oil prices soon. Iran's exports, which have fallen from 2.5 million barrels a day in 2012, when the sanctions began to take effect, to 1.1 million barrels a day now, will need time to recover, she said...."Considering all of the political turmoil in the Middle East, where most of the crude oil flow is coming from, prices have been relatively low," she said.

Gulf News:
March 28, 2015

Iran oil to put pressure on prices as nuclear talks in critical stage

Dr Sara Vakhshouri, President of the US based SVB Energy International and an expert on Iran said Iran can technically increase its oil production between 500,000 to 800,000 barrels per day within 3 to 6 months. "However this increase could only happen if there is an ease on sanctions against Iran's oil exports, and also capability of this country for finding new markets. It will have an immediate psychological effect on the market and will push the prices down."

Financial Post:
March 23, 2015

Spiderweb' of sanctions means Iranian oil unlikely to flood the market

"Iran could increase its oil production between 500,000 to 800,000 bpd within three to six months," according to Sara Vakhshouri, a Washington-based consultant who once worked at the National Iranian Oil Company." There are multi-layered sanctions by multiple entities and you cannot just flip a switch and make them go away. "According to Iran's five-year plan, the country had to invest US$255 billion in its energy industry from 2011-2015," Ms. Vakhshouri said, noting that the industry fell well short of that target due to international sanctions and a ban on foreign investment."

Reuters:
March 5, 2015

Despite Netanyahu claim, cheap oil not seen swaying Iran behavior

"It is not possible for the United States to keep this consensus against Iran with European countries and other countries for much longer," said Sara Vakhshouri, an energy consultant based in Washington who formerly worked in Iran's energy sector. "The sanctions and this consensus could erode after some time."

Washington Examiner:
Feb. 26, 2015

Shale revolution will 'undermine' rivals, says Sen. Bill Cassidy

...'Middle East oil is projected to maintain its market share despite the competition from U.S. shale', said Sara Vakhshouri, president of consulting firm SVB Energy International. But it won't increase its slice of the pie because demand in the region is rising as petrochemicals industries soar and fuel subsidies encourage waste.

Gulf News:
Jan. 6, 2015

End of Iran sanctions to benefit UAE

Recently at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International said an additional oil of 500,000 to 600,000 barrels of oil per day will enter market in the next six to eight months if sanctions on Iran are lifted.

Lobelog:
Jan. 6, 2015

For Saudi Arabia, Supply and Demand Trump Geopolitics

.."But lower oil prices today could provide an opportunity for Iran to regain its lost market share in the medium to long term. More than half of Iran's export capacity was wiped out due to sanctions after 2011. What with the anticipated growth in overall oil supplies from unconventional sources - as well as from Iraq, whose production was expected to increase rapidly with the signing of major contracts with Western oil companies, at least before the Islamic State's big offensive - the market neither wanted nor needed a flood of Iranian crude. But if current low oil prices persist over the next two years and unconventional oil production declines, Iranian oil will be poised to take up the slack, particularly if Tehran reaches an agreement with the P5+1 on its nuclear program. However, it would take a year or two before Iran could increase its oil production to anywhere near pre-sanctions levels."

Gulf News-:
Nov. 30, 2014

Iran, Iraq face difficult time as oil prices plunge

Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of US-based SVB Energy International and an expert on Iran, said the country's economy is going to hurt but they could overcome this by raising taxes. "I think they can manage it but it depends for how long. It will be hard for people due to taxes."

Gulf News:
Nov. 17, 2014

Oil to be in focus at Abu Dhabi energy meet

Abu Dhabi: Important issues affecting the oil and gas industry will be discussed as part of an annual energy conference being held at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (Ecssr) in Abu Dhabi from Tuesday. Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of the US based SVB Energy International will talk about Iran, potential and implications of a full return to energy markets during the conference.

Gulf News:
Nov. 3, 2014

Iran faces a budget deficit as oil prices fall

"The best strategy for Iran would be to reach an agreement with the group of P5+1 countries (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany) so that sanctions are eased and the country would be able to increase its production and export. This could reduce its budgetary gap and help Iran to regain its pre-sanctions market share," said Sara Vakhshouri, President of US-based SVB Energy International, a global strategic energy consulting firm specialised in oil and gas industry. She said that Iran will not push for production cuts at this month's Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting in Vienna. "Therefore it's not in Iran's interest to push for Opec production drop, as its export is already at its minimum range and this country would not want to lose additional market share. Also, if Opec and Iran reduce their production, there is no guarantee that non-Opec producers would do the same," she added.

Iran Review:
Oct. 17, 2014

Is Iran in Oil Price War with Saudi Arabia?

"Saudi Arabia has started reducing its oil prices without cutting its production, and could have different reasons for this. Change of sale strategy could be the most important cause of this action. Saudi's strategy has been shifted from maintaining a higher range of oil prices in to maintaining and securing its market share'. Instead of waiting for more oil to come into the market and drop the prices, Saudi has take the initiative to adjust itself and its economy to the lower oil price and increasing its market share by offering discounted oil prices."......"Regarding the oil pricing and sale strategy, Iran has already taken the best possible strategy to maintain its market share by offering the same range of discounts that Saudi is offering to its customers. Iran is currently struggling with different sanctions and limitation on its oil export and cannot easily increase its production and export in order to reduce the gap of its expected revenue based on the previous price range. However the reality of the market, lower demand growth and bullish supply growth, has created a serious competition among the major oil producers in the market to maintain and secure their market share. Therefore, Iran has to play the same game that others are playing."

Lobelog:
Oct. 16, 2014

Explainer: The Oil Price Plunge

..."On the one hand, the acceleration of higher energy efficiency, combined with higher energy prices, the economic crisis in Europe and lower economic growth in China have all put pressure on overall energy demand growth. On the other hand, the global energy supply has had a bullish growth mainly because of the shale oil boom in North America and Iraqi oil output. Yet the lower growth of demand and the higher rate of supply growth have both altered concerns over energy security paradigms, shifting from the security of supply to concerns about the security of demand and the profitability of oil production (in the case of unconventional oil). Keen competition among producers to maintain market share, concerns over the unconventional oil production's profitability, and the effect of lower oil prices on oil dependent economies are all consequences of this broader change in the balance between supply and demand in global energy markets."...

IPSNews:
Aug. 4, 2014

Iran, One Year Under Rouhani

"Rouhani and his team's efforts to reduce sanctions on Iran through the nuclear talks has so far prevented the further cutting of Iranian crude oil production and exports," said Sara Vakhshouri, an energy expert and former advisor to the National Iranian Oil Company. "The [sanctions relief] has not had an immediate significant effect on the economy, but it has certainly had a positive psychological impact on the people," she said...

Lobelog:
June 30, 2014

Iraqi Turmoil And the Global Oil Market

On Saturday June 21, Iraq's largest refinery at Baiji finally succumbed to the forces of the radical Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, often referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS), after being under siege for nearly two weeks...

Lobelog:
May 22, 2014

Russia, China Finally Sign $400 Billion Energy Deal: Why Now?

After almost a decade of negotiations, Moscow reached a 400 billion dollar energy deal with Beijing yesterday, allowing the Russian state-controlled Gazprom to export gas to China for 30 years.

Al-Monitor:
May 5, 2014

Iran-India energy ties may take off

Following the Geneva interim deal on Nov. 24, 2013, and the partial ease of sanctions against Iran, India's oil secretary, Vivek Rae, announced that India is ready to pay $1.5 billion to Iran for its oil imports...

Lobelog:
April 25, 2014

Gasoline Prices: Iran's Achilles' Heel

The new gasoline prices were announced at midnight on April 24 by the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC).The price for the semi-subsidized gasoline will be 7,000 rials per liter (27 cents) and 10,000 rials (42 cents) for free market price gasoline...

Lobelog:
April 9, 2014

The Ukraine Crisis: A Game-Changer in the Global Energy Market?

The tension between Russia and the West, and particularly the European Union, over Crimea has once again raised questions over the security of energy supplies and the use of energy as a tool of foreign policy and diplomacy...

Iran- Russia Energy Deal

يساور الولايات المتحدة الأميركية قلق من مساعي إيران لإبرام اتفاق مقايضة خاص بالطاقة مع روسيا، وذلك بعد أن أحرزت طهران وموسكو تقدما باتجاه اتفاق لمبادلة النفط بالسلع قالت مصادر إيرانية إن قيمته قد تبلغ عشرين مليار دولار، وسيمكن طهران من تعزيز صادراتها النفطية الحيوية في تحد للعقوبات التي يفرضها الغرب

Al-Monitor:
Feb. 26, 2014

Iran offers new terms for oil contracts

The new Iran Petroleum Contract will offer greater incentives to international oil and gas investors by offering higher potential profits and lower investment risks. The goal of contract is to attract investment and technology to the Iranian oil industry and to increase the industry's overall ...

Financial Post:
Sept. 26, 2013

Iran's Return to the Market could Send Prices Diving

Iran's return to the oil market could trigger a "positive supply shock," sending oil prices plunging by as much as US$20 per barrel, although Saudi Arabia will probably move swiftly to ensure a softer, $10-drop in crude prices..

Zawya:
Sept. 26, 2013

Saudi Arabia's challenge: Decouple fiscal spending from crude price

"The Arab Spring forced the kingdom to increase its public expenditure in order to keep its 27 million people calm. Saudi Arabia's domestic expenses in 2011 increased to USD 129 billion, which is about half of its oil revenues," Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, president at Washington D.C.-based SVB Energy International, told Zawya. "It is estimated that the country needs to sell its oil at least in the range of USD 80 to USD 85 per barrel to balance its budget. This number is expected to increase to above USD 110 per barrel within the next couple of years," Dr. Vakhshouri said.

Bloomberg:
Aug. 22, 2013

Iran Oil Minister Vows to Revive Output as He Eyes Price War

In his first few days as oil minister in President Hassan Rohani's new government in Tehran, the 61-year-old initiated plans to revive oil production to pre-2005 levels, hinted at a price war to win old customers and brought back managers sidelined by the previous administration...

Atlantic Council:
Aug. 1, 2013

Iran's Oil Minister Confronts Sanctions

Iran's oil personnel and managers became adept then at navigating hurdles and blockages. For example, shipping Iranian oil through the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, with the high risk of being targeted by Iraqi missiles, was one of their formative experiences...

Al- Monitor:
June 24, 2013

Production-Sharing Contracts Could Help Renew Iran Oil Market

For the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran is offering production-sharing contracts (PSCs) for investment in its upstream energy field, which involves exploration and production stage of the hydrocarbons industry...

Lobelog:
May 8, 2013

Iran's Oil Production At Lowest Since 1986

In the last week of April, the US Energy Department issued a report showing that Iran's crude oil and condensate exports have dropped to their lowest level in the past 26 years. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Iran's net oil export revenue in 2012 was $69 billion, down from $95 billion in 2011...

Lobelog:
Feb. 6, 2013

Is Iran's December Oil Export Hike Permanent?

Sanctions against Iran by the European Union and the United States, which aim to change Iran's attitude toward its nuclear program, have increased pressure on its oil export and revenue. This resulted in the reduction of Iran's oil exports from 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in late 2011 to around between 900 thousand to slightly above 1 million bpd until October 2012...

Oil and Gas Journal:
Dec. 14, 2012

WATCHING GOVERNMENT: THE IRANIAN OIL QUESTION

From the outset, the discussion's question seemed provocative: Can the world live without Iranian oil? Panelists at the Dec. 5 event at the Atlantic Council agreed that global prices haven't shot up because the country's production has fallen so far in recent years...

World Gas Intelligence:
Aug. 22, 2012

Iranian Gas In US Cross-Hairs

"I think the sanctions ... have two goals," Sara Vakhshouri, president of Washington consultancy SVB Energy International and previously an advisor to the director of National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC), tells WGI. "To increase the psychological pressure on Iran and to prevent Iran from having any long-term strategic relations with its gas customers. [A decision] may not have a significant effect on Iran's income or on the global gas market ... but it will prevent Iran's gas consumers from having a long-term trade and reliance on the country's gas."

Al- Monitor:
June 26, 2012

Rising Iraqi Oil Output Greases Iran Sanctions

Despite bureaucratic hurdles in Iraq and the continued absence of a national oil law, the challenges there to production and exports pale in comparison to Iran's situation...