What The Worst-Case Scenario In Iran Would Mean For World Oil Prices

Iran oil

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UBS commodities strategist Julius Walker has a note out on the prospects of an oil shock in Iran, what such a shock could look like, and the potential impact on commodity prices.Walker sees four main possibilities, ranging from somewhat benign to extremely costly.

We summarize them quickly here.

  • Scenario #1: EU sanctions get put into place starting July 1, resulting in 0.6 million of barrels per day coming off the market. In this case, Brent Crude would rise to about $130/barrel, though possibly less, since the embargo might make exemptions for some distressed buyers of Iranian oil, like Italy and Greece.
  • Scenario #2: Full EU sanctions are put in place, plus there’s another 10% cut from other customers. In this case, we’d be talking about oil going to $138/barrel.
  • Scenario #3: Iranian crude exports are halted entirely, perhaps as a result of an Israeli air strike. Then we’re talking about a loss of 2.5 million barrels per day of supply, and Brent Crude prices up around $205.
  • Scenario #4: The complete shutdown of Iranian oil. This would require some kind of military action and wide internal upheaval. In this case, the world would lose 4 million barrels per day, and we’d see crude as high as $270 per barrel.

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