China, which is increasing its influence in the region and buys 50%-70% of Iranian oil exports, would be opposed to any interruption of energy flows through the Strait of Hormuz.
The homegrown energy boom in the U.S. has reduced its vulnerability.
The global oil market is expected to be well-supplied in 2020 and demand growth could stay weak, keeping a lid on oil prices, the head of the IEA told Reuters on Jan. 10.
Most traders are anticipating a cyclical acceleration in oil and energy consumption this year as the manufacturing and freight sectors put last year’s slowdown behind them.
What was originally a proxy war between Washington and Tehran has dangerously become a direct confrontation that is raising concerns about Middle East oil flows.
Crude oil prices climb 5% after the U.S. assassination last week of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
The United States has only been exporting oil since early 2016, after a four-decade ban on crude shipments worldwide was lifted in response to a surge in U.S. oil production.
Oil prices jumped nearly $3 on Jan. 3 after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.
European governments and Israel last year agreed to proceed with the so-called EastMed project, a $6 billion to $7 billion pipeline project to carry gas from Israeli and Cypriot waters into Europe.