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Iran’s crude oil exports were 2.11 million barrels per day in August—up 15 percent from July exports, according to Reuters, citing someone with knowledge of Iran’s tanker loading schedule.
The figures lend credence to Iran’s promise to return to pre-sanction production levels, despite the OPEC (and Russia) meeting on September 26-28 in Algiers that many are hoping will end with a production freeze agreement in order to quell the price freefall.
Although figures vary slightly depending on the source, crude oil exports from Iran in June were 1.9 million bpd, followed by 1.83 million bpd in July, according to tanker loading schedule data. The August figure represents a five-year high for Iran.
Iran’s export surge was made possible by India (mainly A Refinery), which took nearly 600,000 barrels per day—up about 33 percent from July levels according to Reuters—and its European customers which took 630,000 barrels per day.
Iran, OPEC’s third largest oil producer, maintains that any discussion about it freezing production at the upcoming OPEC meeting would be premature, and that pre-sanction levels would first need to be reached.
"As soon as we come back to pre-sanction levels, we will be ready to discuss quotas and level of production," Mohsen Ghamsari, director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Company, said in an interview in Singapore. "The 4 million bpd production level is not very far from our hands. I hope by the end of 2016 or early next year, we would be able to reach that level."
OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for September 2016 showed Iran’s crude oil production for August was at 3.653 million barrels per day—up from 3.631 million barrels per day in July, and between 147,000 and 347,000 barrels per day less than pre-sanction levels.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.