OPEC’s no.3 producer Iran will continue to export oil and aim to boost its global crude sales, as it is “not worried” that growing tensions with the U.S. over the nuclear deal would affect its oil flows to Asia and Europe, Saeed Khoshrou, Director of International Affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The “whole Europe won’t follow policy of U.S.,” Khoshrou said. “For exports, I’m not worried about that,” the senior NIOC manager told Bloomberg.
U.S. President Donald Trump criticized severely the Iran nuclear deal at the UN last week, sparking speculation about whether he intends to pull the U.S. out of the deal before a key deadline by mid-October. The U.S. president needs to recertify the agreement every 90 days, and the latest deadline is coming up on October 15. There’s speculation that this time around that President Trump won’t issue a recertification.
Although some investors are “worried about the future” in view of the most recent U.S. rhetoric, “there is no document from the United Nations that forces them not to work with Iran,” the Iranian manager told Bloomberg.
Iran currently exports a total of 2.6 million bpd of crude oil and condensate combined, with crude oil at around 2.2 million bpd, and condensates at up to 450,000 bpd, Khoshrou said, adding that Iran expected to ship more crude and condensate overseas at the end of this year. Currently, some 60 percent of the crude oil is bound for Asia, and 40 percent for Europe, Khoshrou said, noting that Iran wasn’t hoarding any crude or condensate in tankers at sea.
Last week, NIOC’s chief executive Ali Kardor said that Iran’s crude oil production was expected to grow to 4 million bpd by the end of the current Iranian year, March 20, 2018, from the current over 3.8 million bpd of oil. Exports of crude oil and gas condensates now exceed 2.6 million bpd, but are further expected to increase as the country plans to raise its output in the second half this year and in early 2018, Kardor said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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