Potential oil supply disruptions in Iran and Venezuela have prompted oil traders to focus on geopolitics rather than fundamentals, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest monthly report Wednesday, warning that any supply cuts could prompt prices to rocket.
"The potential double supply shortfall represented by Iran and Venezuela could present a major challenge for producers to fend off sharp price rises and fill the gap, not just in terms of the number of barrels but also in terms of oil quality," the Paris-based organization said.
President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal just over a week ago — and the expected re-imposition of sanctions on the country — coupled with political and economic disorder in recession-hit Venezuela has cast the supply of Iran and the Latin American country into doubt.
Neil Atkinson, head of the oil industry and markets division at the IEA, told CNBC's "Street Signs" that "the stability of the market" could be at stake.
"If there is a large shortfall in Iranian exports then clearly that will have an impact on a market that is already quite tight," he said.
"And it's not beyond the realms of possibility that by the end of 2018, production in Venezuela could be several hundred thousand barrels lower than in its today. If that shortfall there coincides with a large shortfall in Iranian exports as the sanctions are implemented that potentially poses a challenge."