Oil Blockade Doubts

Veronica Maciel

Currently the price for Brent crude oil, light oil, is $111 a barrel and rising. Saudi Arabia claims that they can stabilize it at $100 a barrel. According to Reuters, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the BBC, “Iran must be stopped and the good news is that Iran can be stopped with economic and diplomatic means once the entire international community gathers together with effective sanctions.”

On New Year’s Eve, President Barack Obama signed a bill that is aiming to stop countries paying for Iranian oil. The United States isn’t the only country trying to stop the oil from Iran; The European Union is doing the same.

They are Iran’s second largest oil customer after China, buying approximately 450,000 barrels per day of the 2.6 million barrels per day exports that Iran sends out. At the foreign ministers meeting on January 23 the European Union plans to agree on an embargo for Iranian oil. The only countries that do not want to support the embargo are China and Russia.

Iran warned its Gulf Arab neighbors not to raise oil output to replace Iran’s crude oil, but this warning was ignored. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister, Ali al-Naimi told CNN, that Riyadh could increase oil production by two bdp “almost immediately.” He goes on to say, “our wish and hope is we can stabilize this oil price and keep it around $100.” If the embargo from the other countries is successful, Saudi Arabia will take over the oil industry from Iran.