The Obama Administration is worried. About a lot of things really, but in this case about the rising cost of oil, spiking both on inflation fears and a seriously tight supply, with officials warning that even tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would provide at best a very temporary benefit.
Unspoken in all this concern about supply shortages is that one of the world’s largest oil producers, Iran, saw their exports drop nearly 45 percent in July as US and EU sanctions kept that oil off the market at a time when it is desperately needed.
Iran has tried to keep its oil exports going by negotiating oil for wheat and oil for gold deals with nations like India and China, but these are only going so far, and the banking sanctions are bringing the oil industry, like everything else in Iran, to a halt.
This was of course the whole point of the sanctions, and the Obama Administration would likely be bragging about how they are sticking it to Iran, if the measures weren’t also hurting everyone else worldwide. Since President Obama was openly rejecting exactly this scenario, insisting there was more than enough oil on the market without any from Iran, the impact of losing less than half of the supply is bound to raise concern about how much worse things might get without Iran on the global market.