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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Iran Claims Its Oil Revenues Surged Despite Sanctions

Iran’s revenues from crude oil and oil products surged by 55 percent between March and October, the first seven months of the Iranian year, compared to the same period of the previous year, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Monday, quoting data from the Central Bank of Iran.  

Between March and October, Iran’s oil exports revenues were helped by high volumes of exports early in the period—with Iran’s oil exports at record in April and May, and later on with the high oil prices in the late summer and early fall.

Iranian crude oil and oil product revenues in the first four months of the Iranian year beginning March 21 until July 23 jumped by 60 percent on the year to reach the equivalent of US$9.9 billion, according to Iran’s central bank.

After July, however, Iran’s oil exports started to drop noticeably as buyers were unwilling to commit amid uncertainties over whether anyone would be receiving a U.S. waiver to continue importing oil from Iran.

The U.S. pledge to drive Iranian oil exports down to ‘zero’ led to fears of a supply crunch and oil prices shot up to four-year highs in early October.

In early November, U.S. sanctions returned, and with them came waivers to eight key Iranian oil buyers to continue importing reduced volumes of Iranian oil until early May 2019.

In October, with lack of certainty over U.S. waivers, crude oil exports from Iran to Asian countries—its biggest clients—sank to average 762,000 bpd, official customs data and shipping data reported by Reuters revealed. This was the lowest monthly average for Iranian crude oil exports to Asia in five years and a 56.4-percent decline on an annual basis.

The U.S. sanctions have effectively removed around 1 million bpd of Iranian oil from the market, but Iran is still estimated to be exporting more than 1 million bpd of crude oil.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh G Salameh on December 17 2018 said:
    If you make a claim, Ms Paraskova, then the onus is on you to support it with evidence. Without providing evidence, your claim would be described by many as a plain lie. Therefore, your claim that US sanctions have effectively removed around 1 million barrels a day (mbd) of Iranian oil from the market is a plain lie and I will tell you why it is a lie.

    95% of Iran’s oil exports go to China (35%), India (33%), The European Union (20%) and Turkey (7%). These countries have never complied with US sanctions and never stopped buying Iranian crude. In fact, China and India accounting for 68% of Iranian crude oil exports have increased their imports thus blunting the sanctions. The remaining 5% of exports go to South Korea and Japan who got US sanction waivers thus enabling them to continue buying Iranian crude. Moreover, Iranian President Rouhani confirmed a few days ago that Iranian oil exports have actually improved despite the sanctions. The confirmation of Iran’s Central Bank that Iran’s revenues from crude oil and oil products surged by 55% between March and October, the first seven months of the Iranian year, compared to the same period of the previous year is another evidence that your claim is a plain lie.

    Iranian oil exports like those of Russian, Saudi and Iraqi exports (with the exception of the hyped US oil output which is always on the rise) change from day to day. That is why you have to take the average Iranian production over a period of six months or preferably 12 months to get a realistic estimate of their oil exports.

    US sanctions have so far failed to cost Iran even one single barrel of its exports. The issuing of US sanction waivers to eight countries who didn’t need them in the first place and who would have continued buying Iranian crude with or without waivers is the latest admission by the Trump administration that their zero exports option is beyond their reach and that the sanctions are doomed to fail. Moreover, renewing the US sanction waivers in May 2019 or ending them is irrelevant to the global oil market and prices. Still there is a big possibility that waivers will be extended if only to be used as a fig leaf by the Trump administration to cover the failure of their zero option and the whole US sanctions against Iran at large.

    For your own credibility as a writer, I advise you to always provide evidence when making claims.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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