Iran’s oil exports rose by 45,000 barrels per day in July compared to the previous month, data released by the Ministry of Petroleum showed on Tuesday.
The country delivered more than 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude to Asian and European markets, the Mehr news agency cited the ministry report as saying.
Iran’s oil exports to Asia in July increased by more than 100,000 barrels to 1.4 million bpd, after seeing the volumes fall for two straight months since Western sanctions against Tehran were lifted in January last year.
China, South Korea, India, Japan are Iran’s major crude oil customers on the Asian continent.
India’s imports of Iranian crude rose more than 30 percent in the first three months of the Indian financial year in April-June. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan however has said India’s state refiners will buy less Iranian oil in the upcoming months compared to the last fiscal year.
New Delhi wants Tehran to grant special rights to the development of a major gas field in the Persian Gulf to the Indians and its latest decision is apparently a response to Iran’s refusal to submit to the demand.
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said India’s purchase of less Iranian oil is a non-issue because his country has enough customers elsewhere. According Iran’s leading oil tanker operator NITC, shipments to Europe are increasing daily and the company plans to expand its fleet to cope with the situation.
The rise in July came after imports of Iranian crude by Asian buyers fell for a second month in a row to a 14-month low in June because of lower purchases by China and Japan.
China, India, South Korea and Japan together imported 1.46 million bpd of Iranian crude in June, down 15.2% on a year ago and the lowest amount since 1.32 million bpd in April last year, Reuters reported, quoting government and ship-tracking data.
The news agency does not factor Iran’s condensate, a very light crude produced in association with natural gas which has a strong demand in Asia, in its statistics while the Iranian government does.
Iran has been ramping up oil production since the removal of sanctions, aiming to hit pre-sanction levels of around 4 million bpd by the end of the year from around 3.8 million bpd in recent months.
The country has persuaded OPEC to exclude it from a deal under which members are bound to reduce their output by 1.2 million bpd.
Nevertheless, a Reuters survey released on Monday showed that OPEC oil output rose by 90,000 bpd in July.
Compared with the levels from which they agreed to cut, the 11 members have reduced output by 978,000 bpd of the pledged 1.164 million bpd, the news agency said. That equates to 84% compliance, from a downwardly revised 77% in June, it added.