By The Daily Star

Excluding Iran from the global oil market would increase the shortfall between worldwide supply and demand based on September and October production and consumption estimates, the U.S. Energy Department said.

Global fuel use averaged 2.4 million barrels a day more than output over the two months when Iran is excluded from the calculations, and 600,000 barrels less than production when Iran is included, the department’s Energy Information Administration said in a report Saturday.

The examination of oil and fuel supplies and prices with and without Iran was prepared to help guide President Barack Obama’s administration in determining the feasibility of imposing sanctions related to Iranian oil trades through its central bank.

Saturday’s report was the fifth assessment issued under a Dec. 31 law that requires the EIA to provide an update on oil market conditions every 60 days.

OPEC spare oil production capacity dropped 26 percent in September and October compared with same period a year earlier, the report showed. The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had an average 2 million barrels a day spare capacity during the two months, down from 2.7 million in 2011.

The U.S. and its allies say Iran is trying to develop the capacity to produce atomic weapons. The Islamic Republic has said its nuclear program is for civilian use.

Restrictions on banking, shipping, insurance, ports, trade, commodities and energy transactions and ventures have severed or complicated Iran’s commercial ties to the outside world.

Iran, the third-biggest oil producer in OPEC, pumped 2.85 million barrels of oil a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. August production dropped to 2.75 million barrels a day, the lowest level since February 1990.

 

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