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Iran pumped 3.63 million barrels of crude daily in June, which is the highest since 2011, Platts reports. The cumulative increase since December has been 740,000 bpd. Earlier this week, Iran announced it has regained 80 percent of its pre-sanction market share, exporting some 2 million bpd of its total.
OPEC’s former number-two exporter has left no doubt as to its ambition to make a full return to international crude markets as soon as possible. In May, market data from Reuters showed that Iranian crude oil exports in April reached 2.3 million bpd, exceeding forecasts, while May exports were expected to be around 2.1 million bpd—or almost 60 percent higher than a year earlier. In May last year, by way of comparison, Iran was exporting about 1.3 million bpd, according to Reuters.
Logistics were one thing that was holding up Iranian exports, with tankers being a key problem and indications that this has been partially resolved. That was in May. Now, Iran is leasing tankers to international companies. An official from the National Iranian Oil Tanker Company, Ali Akbar Akhund Kazami, said on Monday that “continuous negotiations are held between NIOTC and various companies though domestic needs remain as top priority.”
Yesterday, government officials said the long-awaited new Iranian Petroleum Contract has been approved by the government’s chief advisory body, the Resistance Economy Headquarters, specially set up to implement President Ali Khamenei’s reformist views.
The new contracts are crucial for an Iranian energy industry seeking to expand following the removal of international sanctions last January. Oil accounts for less than 15 percent of government revenue and around 1.4 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) were exported in 2015. Yet Iran is currently exporting 2.6 million bpd, and Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs and Trading Amir Hossein Zamaninia recently estimated that US$40 billion to US$50 billion of investments would be made in the Iranian oil industry this year.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.