Saturday, May 18, 2024

Iran oil exports hit 6-year high amid US sanctions: Report

Tehran is exporting more oil than at any time for the past six years, giving its economy a $35bn-a-year boost, the Financial Times has reported.

Tehran sold an average of 1.56 million barrels a day during the first three months of the year, almost all of it to China and its highest level since the third quarter of 2018, according to data company Vortexa.

Iran’s success in exporting its crude underscores the difficulties facing the US and the EU as they seek to build up pressure on Tehran.

“The Iranians have mastered the art of sanctions circumvention,” said Fernando Ferreira, head of the geopolitical risk service at the Rapidan Energy Group in the U.S.

In Tehran, Tasnim News Agency reported on Wednesday that the country’s oil industry had found ways to get around sanctions.

Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Oji stated last month that oil exports had generated more than $35 billion in the preceding year. On another occasion, he said that while Iran’s enemies wanted to stop its exports, “today, we can export oil anywhere we want, and with minimal discounts”.

Earlier this month, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that Iran produced 3.25 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March 2024, 20,000 bpd more than the previous month.

According to the EIA report, Iran’s oil production in February stood at 3.23 million bpd.

Iran has produced an average of 3.2 million barrels of oil per day in the first quarter of this year, based on the report.

Iran’s oil production in the first quarter of this year has increased by 50,000 bpd compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year and by 630,000 barrels per day compared to the first quarter of 2023.

Iran produced 2.6 million bpd of oil in the first quarter of the previous year and 3.18 million bpd in the fourth quarter of the mentioned year.

With an increase of 630,000 barrels in oil production over the past year, Iran had the highest production rise among OPEC members, according to EIA.

Gabon, Nigeria, and Venezuela have been the only OPEC members to increase production over the past year. The production of Gabon increased by 10,000 bpd, Nigeria by 40,000 bpd, and Venezuela by 90,000 bpd.

OPEC oil production in the first quarter of last year was 27.380 million bpd, which has decreased by 720,000 barrels to 26.660 million in the first quarter of 2024.

Based on the EIA report, Iran maintained its position as the organization’s third oil producer in March.

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