Iran says it is receiving above $80 million in direct payments every day
Iran says it is receiving above $80 million in direct payments every day as a result of exports of crude oil to international markets.
Amir-Hossein Zamaninia, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading, told the domestic media that payments to Iran for the country’s oil sales are made through the banking system, stressing that this testifies to the fact that the problems that obstructed Iran’s oil sales during and after the sanctions period no longer exist.
“The mechanism to receive money from sales of oil has not returned to normal completely yet, but it is not blocked as it was during the era of sanctions,” Zamaninia told IRNA news agency.
Iran saw its access blocked to around $30 billion of oil revenues in overseas accounts after a series of draconian sanctions were imposed against the country in 2012. The same sanctions also closed the mechanisms that the country used to direct payments from its trade into its own banking system.
The sanctions were removed in January thus paving the ground for the clients of Iran’s oil to deliver the delayed payments. This, however, eventually proved a lengthy process mainly due to the remaining US sanctions that ban dollar-based payments to Iran.
On a related front, Iran’s media reported on Tuesday that at least $13 billion in postponed oil payments by clients including the UAE, India as well as energy giant Shell have been paid to Iran.
IRNA further quoted official figures as showing that Iran is presently exporting above 2.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of crude oil. That would make above $80 million per day if multiplied by $37.18 which is the average 2016 price for each barrel of Iran’s heavy crude oil – the country’s dominant type of crude oil. Also, the country’s annual revenues from oil sales will be above $30 billion – around the same target previously announced by the government and almost unchanged from last year.
That could however rise much higher upon speculations that oil would surge past $50 per barrel if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agrees to implement a much-debated plan to freeze output and help stabilize the prices, IRNA added.
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration on the same front is an expected rise in Iran’s oil production to as high as 2.5 mb/d by April 2017, as previously pledged by officials from the country’s Ministry of Petroleum.