Iran’s LPG exports returning to normal
Iran’s LPG exports, mostly to China, are returning to pre-sanction levels of more than 4 million metric tons a year, new figures show.
The country will be exporting 406,000 million metric tons to China and another 50,000 million tons to neighboring Iraq in August, energy and metals information provider Platts said, citing shipping sources.
A 44,000-million-ton LPG cargo has already been loaded aboard the Thailand-flagged Ming Long and the very large gas carrier (VLGC) is sailing in the Singapore waters on way to China, the agency said.
Another VLGC, the Gas Jasmine owned by the Shandong Shipping, is heading to Iran’s Assaluyeh for loading, Platts added.
The planned exports to China are almost one-third above Iran’s average monthly liftings in the first seven months of this year, it said. They come as business is returning to normal for Tehran following last month’s conclusion of nuclear talks.
The exports will take Iran’s overall LPG sales in the first eight months of 2015 to 2.6 million metric tons. Last year, the country sold 3 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas, otherwise referred as propane or butane which is used as fuel in cooking appliances and vehicles.
Iran exported four million metric tons of LPG worth about $4 billion a year, mostly to South Korea and Europe, before Western sanctions were intensified against the country in 2012. Japanese companies provided insurance coverage for the shipments.
Iran could raise LPG exports by an additional 2 million metric tons when the sanctions are lifted on the country. New plants are coming into operation, including the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone, established for processing South Pars oil and gas resources.
In May, an official said Iran has gone on a spree of negotiations with the Africans and the Europeans besides the Asians for sales of its liquefied petroleum gas.
The country is hoping to ramp up its LPG sales after doubling its fleet of carriers for shipment of the fuel to the international market.
Fifteen carriers purchased in the past couple of years have now joined the fleet and are geared up for taking LPG cargoes to their clients, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for strategic affairs Mohammad Souri said in June.