Iran denies storing oil at sea

Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum has dismissed reports that it was storing oil in floating tankers in the Persian Gulf. 

“Iran has no crude oil stored at sea,” head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Qamsari was quoted as saying on Thursday.

A British news agency, citing unnamed sources, has alleged that Iran had built a stockpile of about 40 million barrels of oil stored in supertankers off its southern coasts.

It suggested that the oil was being prepared for shipment to the market in anticipation of a nuclear agreement as a deadline of June 30 draws near.

The news agency claimed that Iran had deployed at least 15 very large crude carriers each capable of carrying 2 million barrel to store oil.

Qamsari rejected the claims but said Iran “has prepared the necessary infrastructure for raising its crude oil sales so that it could present new cargoes to the market in case sanctions are voided”.

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has been calling on OPEC to make room for Iran when its oil output returns to normal levels.

Intensified sanctions have cut Iran’s oil exports by half to around 1 million barrels per day (bpd). The country plans to reclaim its share of the market when the sanctions are lifted.

Zangeneh has said Iran would raise its output by 500,000 bpd within one or two months and by 1 million bpd after six months.

But Iranian officials have acknowledged that reaching a deal in the ongoing nuclear negotiations was not a foregone conclusion.

In his latest remarks, Zangeneh has said Iran was not worried about the sale of its oil in the market.

“The situation is favorable for us, because in Iran and the Middle East, the cost is less than $10 (per barrel). That’s why we’re not worried about the market,” the minister was quoted as telling the German daily Tagesspiegel in an interview.

There is currently an oil glut in the market because of record production by Saudi Arabia and other key producers.

Zangeneh has said he was confident the market would adjust itself when Iran increased its sales, ruling out a new price crash.

By Press TV