Iranian crude exports rise despite US sanctions
Irans crude oil exports hit 2.7 million bpd in May, higher than its average volumes over the past year, while the US withdrew last month from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions that would kick in later this year.
Last month, Irans crude oil exports stood at 2.4 million bpd, while condensate—ultra light oil—volumes hit 300,000 bpd, the Iranian oil ministrys news service Shana reported over the weekend.
In the Iranian calendar year that ended on March 20, Irans crude oil exports averaged 2.115 million bpd, Shana reported.
For April, Irans crude oil exports reached a record 2.617 million bpd, according to Shana—the highest level since Iran signed the nuclear deal with global powers, just ahead of US President Trumps withdrawal from the deal in early May. Iran exported record-high volumes of crude oil and condensate of 2.877 million bpd to Asian and European markets in April, it said.
While the May export volumes were off the record April figures, they had not plunged after the announcement of US sanctions returning, as per the figures by the Iranian oil ministry.
According to tanker tracking company Petro-Logistics, buyers are not yet rushing to drastically cut purchases from Tehran.
“Exports are down by more than 100,000 barrels per day [bpd] from the very high levels seen in April, but there is no sign of a mass exodus at this time,” Petro-Logistics chief executive Daniel Gerber told Reuters last week.
In a sign that Iran continues to look to sell more oil despite the looming US sanctions, Tehran has reportedly sold its first West Karoun oil to Spains Repsol, two sources told Reuters on Monday. Repsol has agreed to take 500,000 barrels of that crude on a spot basis and is expected to lift the cargo co-loaded with Iranian heavy later this week or early next week, according to one of the sources.