A typically low seasonal demand in Europe will lead to Iran exporting 1.89 million bpd of crude oil next month, the lowest level since July, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source with knowledge of Iran’s tanker schedule.
As a rule of thumb, Iranian crude oil exports usually hit low levels around the months of October and November due to the peak in refinery maintenance in Europe and Asia. This year around, however, the November exports to Asia will rise from October due to higher Chinese demand.
This year, Iran has been rapidly bumping up oil production and exports after the international sanctions were lifted in January. In August, Iran’s exports hit a five-year-high of 2.11 million bpd, up by 15 percent from July.
Then in September crude exports reached a brand new five-year-high of 2.14 million bpd.
Although Iran’s total crude oil exports are expected to drop to below 2 million bpd in November, tanker schedules show that exports to Asia next month would be 1.46 million bpd, an increase of 74,000 bpd from October. Exports to China are projected to surge 35 percent monthly in November to 609,000 bpd. Crude oil loadings to India will be 581,000 bpd.
Europe-bound exports, however, are expected to drop to 433,000 bpd in November from 613,000 bpd in October.
According to the Reuters source, in November, Iran would also ship around 2 million barrels of crude oil to its offshore storage facility.
Iran’s production has successfully reached the 4-million-bpd mark, according to Ali Kardor, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The country has always said that it had hoped to reach pre-sanction levels of production, and maintains that it should be exempted from the much-discussed proposed production cuts within OPEC.
Iran has also joined Iraq and Venezuela in questioning the way OPEC calculates production levels. Even if the dispute over OPEC data were the only bone of contention, it would threaten to derail a possible deal.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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