Despite sanctions, Iran’s oil exports jumped in September: Tracking firm

Iran’s exports of crude oil and condensate jumped in September amid unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States. That is according to three assessments based on tanker tracking.

“Exports are way up right now. We are seeing close to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in both crude and condensate so far this month,” Samir Madani, co-founder of the TankerTrackers group, told Reuters.

“These are levels we haven’t seen in a year and a half.”

Since May 2018 Iran’s exports have shrunk in the wake of a move by the administration of US President Donald Trump to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major world powers in 2015.

Trump said the “toughest ever” sanctions had been imposed against the Islamic Republic.

However, data from TankerTrackers and two other tracking firms, asking not to be named, indicated that Iran’s exports are rising.

According to data released by TankerTrackers, which tracks shipments and oil storage, the figure for the September exports was twice that of August, nearly 11 percent of which was ultra light crude known as condensate.

It added that foreign vessels have picked up almost half of Iranian exports via ship-to-ship transfers.

The two other firms have also confirmed a hike in the exports of Iranian oil and condensate in September but not to the same extent.

One of them said it was seeing an increase of at least 100,000 bpd in September, which is still a considerable volume compared to a low point in May, when Iran’s crude exports fell to 100,000 to 200,000 bpd from 2.7 million bpd in May 2018.

Iran dismisses US claims that sanctions have had a crippling impact on shipping oil to traditional customers like China and India.

The White House has terminated sanctions waivers for major buyers of crude from the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”

Under pressure from the United States, foreign companies have pulled out of deals that help develop Iran’s oil and gas fields.

Tehran has warned it would react militarily if its exports are cut to zero as sought by Trump.

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh in July expressed the country’s resolve to develop its oil industry despite US sanctions.

Zangeneh said the Islamic Republic will never give in to the restrictive measures employed by the White House and will rather pay particular attention to shared oil fields.

“It is right that our production is low today, but we should increase capacities so that we can revive our market share whenever it is necessary. We will not surrender under any circumstances. Creating capacities is a strategic work in the oil industry,” he added.

Iran has turned to domestic companies to advance its projects in the oil sector.

Iranian technicians and engineers have successfully installed another offshore drilling rig in the Persian Gulf waters as the country keeps expanding crude production.

The semi-official Fars news agency said in a Wednesday report that Platform 8 was the first of two new rigs planned for Hendijan oilfield, located to the west of the Persian Gulf, where Iran has some key offshore oil reserves.

The 1,000-ton structure has been fully designed and manufactured inside Iran and installation operation was carried out using domestic expertise, said a report by the Ministry of Petroleum’s news service Shana.

 

Source: Press TV