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At a time when oil markets are particularly sensitive to anything that might signal weak demand for oil now or in the future, US sanctions on Iran has effectively taken nearly 2.7 million barrels of oil per day out of what is perceived as an oversupplied market, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC.
Pompeo claims that the US Government was confident that it could continue with its maximum pressure campaign on Iran that has stifled the Middle Eastern country’s oil exports.
“We have managed to take almost 2.7 million barrels of crude oil off of the market, denying Iran the wealth to create their terror campaign around the world, and we have managed to keep the oil markets fully supplied,” Pompeo said on Tuesday.
Refinitiv Eikon data shows that Iran’s crude oil and condensate exports fell to 120,000 barrels per day in July, according to Reuters. The true measure of its exports, however, remains a mystery, as there are no official accounts that track its exports. Iran now considers its oil exports a hush-hush matter, according to Hassan Soleimani, editor in chief of IRGC-affiliated Mashregh newspaper, who said the way Iran evades sanctions to “sell our oil and how we move the money is now the country’s most vital and sensitive information.”
While its exports may be shrouded in secrecy, its production figures are somewhat less so, thanks to its OPEC membership. Iran does not provide directly reported figures to OPEC, but according to OPEC’s secondary sources, Iran’s July oil production was 2.21 million bpd. Iran’s average daily production for all of 2018 was 3.55 million bpd.
OPEC is still curbing its production in an effort to rebalance the oversupplied oil market, and any additional export decreases from Iran will assist OPEC in its efforts to bolster prices.
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.