The Trump administrations withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and its subsequent decision to re-impose sanctions, could very well have rippling effects on global oil markets.
A number of US companies have already stopped their imports despite the sanctions going into effect in early November 2018. French oil giant, Total SA (TOT, $63.21), is the most recent non-US company to announce that it has stopped buying Iranian oil. A number of companies from countries like India, however, which are heavily oil dependent, are continuing to import Iranian oil -- defying the Trump administration’s call for countries to completely cut-off trade.
A slow but steady increase in the US's rig count during the course of 2018 has helped investors remain optimistic. Refineries continue to ramp-up their operations to enhance output as hurricanes have knocked out a significant portion of the country’s refining capacity, leading to a dip in crude stockpiles. However, with refinery utilization increasing to 83.2% during the second week of September 2018, the tide is shifting with crude oil in storage also increasing by 4.6 million barrels.