Iran’s oil exports hit pre-sanctions high
Reports say Iran has already been able to increase its oil exports to levels that existed before sanctions were imposed on the country in 2011.
Reuters in a report on Monday quoted unnamed oil market sources as saying that Iran’s total crude oil and condensate sales likely reached around 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in September.
The figure nearly matches a 2011 peak in shipments before sanctions were imposed on the country.
The rise was mostly attributed to a rise in shipments of condensate – a type of ultra light oil often produced with natural gas.
Iran, Reuters added, sold 600,000 bpd of condensate for September, including about 100,000 bpd shipped from storage, to meet robust demand in Asia.
September crude exports increased slightly from the previous month to about 2.2 million bpd, the sources added.
Iran, along with Libya and Nigeria, is allowed to produce “at maximum levels that make sense” as part of any output limits in a surprise deal reached last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Still, it has surprised the market by ramping up its oil output faster than expected, to 3.63 million bpd in August, according to OPEC, up a quarter from end-2015 since sanctions were lifted in January, Reuters added.
Iran’s exports of oil stood at 2.35 million bpd before the sanctions were imposed against the country in 2011. The sanctions restricted the country’s oil exports to around 1 million bpd among other economic bans – already described by analysts as the toughest the world has ever seen. They were lifted in January after a deal that Iran reached with the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – over the Iranian nuclear energy program became effective.