Owji: Iran oil exports on the rise despite ‘harsher’ sanctions

SHANA (Tehran) – Iran’s oil minister on Friday said his country’s oil products and exports have climbed in spite of “harsher” sanctions.

Talking to the official IRNA news agency, Javad Owji added promotion of energy diplomacy and relations with Asian, African, and Latin American countries has helped Iran create new markets for selling its oil.

He vowed good news on oil sales will be announced in the coming months.

The minister quoted President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi as saying that Iran’s oil exports rose to 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in May.

Owji said international institutes that monitor the countries’ oil exports have reported the hike in Iran’s output and exports.

Last week, a Reuters report quoting consultants, shipping data and a source familiar with the matter said Iran's crude exports and oil output have hit new highs in 2023 despite U.S. sanctions, adding to global supply when other producers are limiting output.

Tehran's oil exports have been limited since former U.S. president Donald Trump in 2018 exited a 2015 nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions aimed at curbing oil exports and the associated revenue to Iran's government.

Even so, exports have risen during the term of his successor President Joe Biden, the report continued.

Iranian crude exports exceeded 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, the highest monthly rate since 2018, according to Kpler, a provider of flows data. They were around 2.5 million bpd in 2018, before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Iran said in May it has boosted its crude output to above 3 million bpd. That's about 3% of global supply and would be the highest since 2018, according to figures from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). A source familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month output was still at this level.

The International Energy Agency also put Iran's May production at 2.87 million bpd, close to Iran's official figure.

The rise from Iran comes as OPEC+, which includes OPEC, Russia and other allies, is cutting output to support the oil market, where expectations that economic weakness will dent demand have pressured prices.

Other analysts say Iran's production and exports have risen. SVB International, a consultant, estimates crude production hit 3.04 million bpd in May, up from 2.66 million bpd in January. Exports of crude and condensate were 1.93 million bpd in May.

Exports of gas condensates

Iran had 87 million barrels of gas condensates in storage offshore and onshore before the 13th (incumbent) administration took over in early August 2021, recalled Owji, describing the predicament as an Achilles’ heel, as it was hard to sell them.

The 13th administration, however, sold the stored gas condensates and is currently selling some 800 barrels produced a day amid strictest sanctions, he concluded.

News ID 474595


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