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Throughout the whole period the West imposed its harsh economic sanctions on Iran, the Persian state has tried to maintain that it has not been as heavily affected as some believe. It claims that oil exports didn’t drop too low, and that now that a partial six month deal has been made, orders are just increasing. However, US officials in charge of managing the sanctions against Iran say that the country is greatly exaggerating its export figures, and that this six month deal will not allow them to sell more than 1 million barrels a day.
In data submitted to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) Iran claims that it exported 1.51 million barrels a day in November 2013, yet the Obama administration always stated that sanctions had forced Iran’s crude exports down to 1 million barrels a day.
It is well known that some members of OPEC, namely Iran and Venezuela, like to report production and export figures that exceed the generally accepted volumes calculated by other institutions. The US officials admitted that it might be possible Iran is inflating the numbers in order to set a higher baseline when trying to negotiate deals with the West in the future, as well as appear more attractive to foreign investors.
Related article: Iran's Patience May Pay Off in Oil Markets
The International Energy Agency, a well-respected organisation in the energy world, estimates that Iranian crude oil exports averaged 1.07 million barrels a day during 2013, a sharp contrast to Iran’s own figures that claims that daily exports only fell below 1.5 million barrels a day once during the past 17 months.
Jamie Webster, an analyst with IHS-PFC Energy, told Bloomberg that “essentially, these are not numbers to believe whatsoever. I suspect they don’t want to admit just how impacted they have been” by the sanctions.
It is predicted that Iranian exports will increase, but not until a deal has been made to completely lift the sanctions currently in place. Bloomberg analysts calculate the price of Brent crude will fall five percent to $103 this year as exports from Iran and Libya begin to rise.
President Hassan Rouhani, trying to attract investor attention to Iran, has already told executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos that his country intends to make a final deal with Western powers this year.
Oilprice.com has already reported on the fact that “major European oil companies have been meeting officials in Iran in an attempt to strengthen relationships and put themselves in a position of favour ahead of the anticipated lifting of Western sanctions.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com