Iran has started sending crude oil via the Goreh-Jask pipeline that passes by the Strait of Hormuz and ends at the port city of Jask in the Gulf of Oman, from where the oil could be loaded on tankers for export.
The first shipment has almost reached its final destination, Bloomberg reported, citing Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency. The 620-mile pipeline will be officially opened later this year by President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran has been preparing for the lifting of U.S. sanctions for months now, boosting its oil production and preparing to boost exports as well.
Earlier this month, President Rouhani said the principal agreement on the sanctions has been reached, which caused a temporary slump in oil prices. Later, other sources said the final agreement is still out of reach.
Meanwhile, however, the country is ramping up output, planning to return to a production level of 4 million barrels daily, which Tehran said it could do within three months. Most of this will probably be exported through the Strait of Hormuz, but it would make sense to seek an alternative route, too, in case of another flare-up in regional or international tensions, making the chokepoint a suitable spot for confrontation. On numerous occasions, Iran has been the party initiating the confrontation, too.
As Iran seeks ways to bring more oil to international markets, the Energy Information Administration reported that an Iranian oil cargo had reached the United States in March, with Reuters noting in its report that the data of the cargo was included in a monthly report that followed the U.S. seizure of an Iranian oil shipment in a Liberian-flagged tanker. The report also noted that its own shipping data had shown the seized tanker had unloaded its cargo at Galveston, Louisiana, in March as well.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- U.S. Shale Is Finally Giving Shareholders A Payday
- The $87 Billion Chinese Car Maker That Hasn’t Sold A Single Car
- Oil Prices Fall As Iran Claims Sanctions Will Be Lifted
The first reason is that it will allow Iranian crude oil exports to bypass the Strait of Hormuz for the first time since oil production started in Iran in the early twentieth century.
The second reason is that it will enhance Iran’s geopolitical reach immeasurably by allowing it to be able to use the threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz for political reasons without hindering its own oil exports.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London