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Iran’s Oil Revenue Hits $50 Billion Ahead Of US Sanctions

Iran’s revenues from oil exports hit US$50 billion in the Iranian financial year ended March 20, with oil and oil product exports accounting for 70 percent of all Iranian exports, Habibollah Bitaraf, Deputy Oil Minister for Engineering, Research, and Technology Affairs, said on Monday.

Iran’s total export currency revenue in the year to March was between US$90 billion and US$95 billion, Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Bitaraf as saying at a conference. Of those, Iran received a total of US$50 billion from crude oil exports and another US$20 billion from exports of petrochemicals, according to the oil ministry’s official.

Yet, in the current Iranian year and going forward, Iran’s oil export volumes are expected to be reduced with the re-imposition of the U.S. sanctions, as some buyers—especially in Europe—are concerned about risking secondary sanctions for doing business with Iran. Oil tanker owners, banks, and insurers have also started to reassess their business involvement with Iran, in view of the returning U.S. sanctions.

Iran’s crude oil exports reached a record 2.617 million bpd in April—the highest level since Iran signed the nuclear deal with global powers from which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in May.

Tehran doesn’t see its buyers obtaining waivers from the U.S. sanctions, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday.

“I don’t believe they can receive waiver from the United States,” Zanganeh said. “We are going to find some other way,” said the minister.

Related: A Storm Is Brewing In The Southern Gas Corridor

At the same time, no big oil company can risk coming under secondary U.S. sanctions, the chief executive of France’s Total, Patrick Pouyanne, said last week.

“There’s not a single international company like Total who can work in any country with secondary sanctions. I don’t have the right. It’s just the reality of the world,” Pouyanne told CNBC.

Total warned last month that it would “not be in a position to continue” the South Pars 11 gas project and “will have to unwind all related operations before 4 November 2018 unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by the US authorities with the support of the French and European authorities.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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