Iran’s exports steady as US targets oil revenues

Press TV- Iran exported 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to customers in Asia and Europe in September, data released by the Ministry of Petroleum showed on Saturday.

The country also shipped 430,000 bpd of condensate to its clients in Asia where South Korea alone took half of the cargos of the superlight form of crude, it added.

China and India remained the prime recipients of crude from Iran, lifting more than 1 million bpd combined, despite reports that New Delhi was cutting purchases from the Islamic Republic.

The ministry figures did not give a breakdown of how much oil each country bought from Iran.

India bought an average of 450,000 bpd of Iranian oil between the beginning of 2017 to the end of August. Indian oil imports from Iran hit a record high in July, when the country’s refineries purchased 500,000 barrels a day.

Refineries in India are reported to have been told to cut imports from Iran in possible retaliation for Tehran not awarding a gas field development to Indian companies. However, Saturday figures showed the purchases are rather steady.

On Thursday, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that the first-ever cargo of US crude oil had arrived in India as part of President Donald Trump’s energy dominance agenda.

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said last week the agenda would consider using US oil to supplant Iran’s oil wealth. US “economic leverage,” he said, would work to “supplant every drop of crude that Iran produces … and energy dominance is part of that.”

The Islamic Republic has painstakingly been ramping up oil production to regain its market share which the country lost under most intensified sanctions in 2011.

The Ministry of Petroleum’s figures for September show Iran is already within the pre-sanction target level.

Iran’s light crude rose $2.02 in the week to September 29 to trade at $57 a barrel, state news agency IRNA reported. During the period, Iranian heavy climbed $1.49 to sell at $54.53.