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Iran will raise the price at which it sells crude oil to Asia next month, Reuters has reported, citing an unnamed source.
According to the source, Iran Light will sell for $2 per barrel above the Dubai/Oman average in March, which is a $0.20-per-barrel increase from the February price.
The price of Iran Heavy will be raised to $0.35 above the Dubai/Oman average for March. This would be a change of $0.60 per barrel, from a discount to the Dubai/Oman average of $0.25 per barrel.
The biggest price increase in Iranian crude will be seen by Pars crude, the price of which will be raised by $0.85 per barrel, to $3 per barrel below the Dubai/Oman average from $3.85 per barrel below the average.
Earlier this year, Iran also raised the prices of the crude oil it sells to Syria, pressed by the worsening economic situation at home. Citing Iranian sources, the Wall Street Journal reported in January that despite its continued support for the Assad government, Tehran could not afford to sell its oil at a discount even to such a close ally.
Meanwhile, as the nuclear talks with the United States seem to have reached a dead end, Washington has stepped up the sanction pressure on Tehran, with a continued focus on oil.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned six Iran-based petrochemical manufacturers or their subsidiaries and three firms in Malaysia and Singapore involved in facilitating the sale and shipment of crude oil and petrochemicals.
“The Biden Administration will not hesitate to take action against sanctions evaders, and we are determined to step up our enforcement in light of Iran’s continued, alarming nuclear advances,” Robert Malley, the U.S. Administration’s special envoy for Iran, said, commenting on the latest round of sanctions.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com