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By Vladimir Soldatkin
BEJING, April 26 (Reuters) - Russia’s Rosneft does not see tougher U.S. sanctions on Iran resulting in a global oil deficit in the second and third quarters of 2019, CEO Igor Sechin said on Friday.
The United States on Monday demanded that all buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues which sent crude prices to six-month highs on fears of a potential supply crunch .
Early this week U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had been in discussions with other countries to help them to wind down Iranian oil imports. He added that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates had committed to making sure oil markets have enough supply.
“No, we do not see such threats,” said Sechin when asked if he expected any oil shortages due to U.S. sanctions on Iran.
“I would attract your attention to Pompeo’s statement: he said, in any case, even by zeroing out the Iranian oil supplies, they would be offset by Saudi Arabia and United Emirates,” Sechin told reporters.
Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, holds the view that Russia - which has a deal with OPEC to cut production - is losing market share to the United States, which is not participating in production cuts and has hence been boosting output to record levels of some 12 million barrels per day .
Early in April Moscow signalled OPEC and allies could raise oil output from June because of improving market conditions and falling stockpiles. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Writing by Andrey Kuzmin and Olesya Astakhova Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Elaine Hardcastle)