Iranian officials have reassured Iraq that there would be freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, the most critical oil shipping lane in the world, the Iraqi oil ministry said on Tuesday.   

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (gave) reassurances to the Iraqi delegation ... around guaranteeing freedom of navigation in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz and respect for international law guaranteeing that,” Reuters quoted Iraq’s oil ministry statement as saying.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was visiting Tehran on Monday, where Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said, “Iran has been, and will be, the main guardian of security and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman during history.”



The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a huge crude oil inventory draw of  10.961 million barrels for the week ending July 18, compared to analyst expectations of a much smaller—but still significant--4.011-million barrel draw.

The inventory draw this week compares to last week’s small draw of 1.401 million barrels, according to the API. A day later, the EIA had estimated an even bigger inventory drawdown of 3.1 million barrels.

After today’s extra-large draw—the largest draw this year--the net build is now just 1.20 million barrels for the 30-week reporting period so far this year, using API data.


Eamon Ryan, the leader of the Green Party in Ireland, said on Wednesday that he would be discussing climate action with all parties and will ‘eat his hat’ if Ireland doesn’t stop issuing licenses for new oil and gas exploration drilling in its waters within a year.

“I will eat my hat if within a year we have not stopped the issues of new oil and gas explorations,” Ryan said during a speech at the MacGill Summer School in Ireland, as carried by Independent.ie.

According to Ryan, oil and gas exploration would not survive in the program for Irish government negotiations, “no matter who is in it.”

Earlier this year, Ireland declared a climate emergency, with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton calling climate change the greatest challenge facing mankind.

Bruton was at MacGill today, where a student confronted him with a speech that received a standing ovation. Sixteen-year-old Conal O’Boyle said, as carried by The Journal, “Of course, we have a civic responsibility to recycle and ensure that our towns and villages are litter free, but Mary in Dingle or John in Castlebar can not pull the plug on oil exploration off the west coast.”


The Trump administration may be willing to negotiate a safe exit for Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro if he agrees to step down soon enough, an anonymous source from the administration allegedly told the Miami Herald.

The source appeared to be unusually frank with a media outlet regarding U.S. policy in Venezuela, saying Maduro’s exit from power was “the only thing there’s room for negotiation” on.

The unnamed official according to the Herald, aid the Venezuelan president may well be considering stepping down as Washington continues to tighten the noose around his government with sanction upon sanction, crippling its oil industry, but he may be uncertain about whether the U.S. will “go after him.”

“The time has come to say, this is the opportunity you have, and we are willing to negotiate to close this chapter, but your opportunity is closing because now even the United Nations has created a case that could be used against you at The Hague,” the official told the Miami Herald.


Nigeria’s state oil firm on Wednesday said that it had stopped payments to Eni three months ago, according to Reuters, adding that it planned to let some of Eni’s oil licenses expire.

 NNPC has plans to take over some of Eni’s licenses for itself.

In the meantime, Nigeria’s refusal to pay Eni has created some setbacks for the country, which has taken steps to overhaul its energy industry by tamping down pipeline violators along with a series of anti-corruption efforts including improving transparency in the sector.

NNPC did not say which of Eni’s asset licenses would not be renewed, nor did it specify what asset the dispute was over.

“The failure to pay cash call arrears in the last three months was deliberate and meant to ensure that the issues surrounding the agreement (are) settled,” NNPC said in a statement carried by Reuters.


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