Nuclear Deal with Iran Could Lower Gas Prices

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Iran, which has had its oil exports restricted between 2012 and 2014 by economic sanctions so its exports were virtually cut in half, would likely increase its imports if the U.S. and the other P5+1 nations make a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Their increased exports might cause American gas prices to dip, leaving consumers happier until the Iranian nuclear program becomes operational.

Although Iran owns the world’s fourth-largest crude oil reserves, it is nowhere near the top of the list of countries exporting oil to the U.S.; the top five exporters are Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Russia.

The Obama administration, eager to make a deal with Iran, has admitted it would consider lifting sanctions against Iran in the future. Iran is currently exporting 1 million barrels of oil per day out of its production totaling 2.8 million barrels per day.

An economist from Northeastern University, Dr. Kamran Dadkhah, stated that if sanctions were lifted, Iran could export 1 million more barrels daily. Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), whose credentials include being a part of the noted anti-Israel leftist group J Street’s National Conference, gushed of a deal with Iran: “The bottom line is—right now we also have a glut of oil and low oil prices, so this is going to strengthen and exacerbate things. If you get an agreement in the next couple weeks, you’ll probably see a pretty quick dip in prices.”

The U.S. has seen a plunge in oil prices since September 2014 of 50%, largely due to drilling and fracking, as well as a glut of petroleum supplies globally.

Goldenberg said oil prices now at $44 per barrel could drop to $20 to $30 per barrel. Yet his compatriot Elizabeth Rosenberg admitted that if stronger sanctions were imposed on Iran, “Iran would have to get out of the oil exporting business entirely, and countries purchasing oil from Iran would have to stop within the next two years.” Rosenberg added that because of the oil glut, the market could “easily absorb” the reduction in Iranian exports.