Iran’s ability to influence oil market is limited

On Monday, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the growth of new oil and gas suppliers has reduced Iran’s ability to influence the world oil markets.

The price of crude oil jumped on Monday after the Iranian attack on Friday of a British flagged oil tanker in the Hormuz Strait, but had initial and steep gains up to 1507 GMT.

“I’m concerned about it,” Perry said at a press conference in Jerusalem, referring to the rise in prices following the capture of the ship. “But we find ourselves in a completely different situation than we were a decade ago.”

“New suppliers should help keep a steady supply of fuel – whether it’s crude, natural gas or other secondary products.I think you’ll see less market shifts when there is an event like it is happening, he said.

“The Iranians will have a tougher time to influence the market than they would have been 10 years ago.”

Perry was in Israel to meet with Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a series of issues and will go to Egypt later this week for a natural gas forum to discuss international energy co-operation.

Israel is on the verge of becoming an energy exporter once the Leviathan gas field begins production this year outside the country’s Mediterranean coast, with Israel due to the supply of Egypt and Jordan.

Texas-based Noble Energy is one of the project developers and a key owner of Tamar’s near field.

Perry said he believed other US energy firms will begin exploring Israel’s shores.

“Noble will not be the last. There are other US and international companies that are looking for,” he said, refusing to elaborate. “When you start finding oil … it will not take much time to show and start drilling and being part of it.”

Last week, Israel received bids from two groups of companies to explore oil and gas off its banks.

They were newcomer British Cairn Energy, SOCO International and Israel Ratio Oil. The second consortium included repeat bidders Energean and Opportunity Israel. Together they offered to get 12 of the 19 available blocks.

Steinitz said in March that Brazil’s Petrobras was expected to attend the tender. Reuters reported that Exxon Mobil, in a policy change, was reviewing the bid at auction.

Perry also said that while it was still early, he was not against the US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program as long as it was for civilian purposes./Investing.com

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