Oil market sources say Iran has sold all the oil it had stored at sea for years – a sign of the country’s positive performance in marketing its vital crude oil supplies.
Reuters in a report quoted tanker tracking and oil sources as saying that Iran had sold its last stocks from the floating storage in the past two weeks. Much of the oil stored was condensate, a very light grade of crude, it added.
Prior to the lifting of sanctions in early 2016, Iran stored unsold oil on ships, which peaked in 2015 at 40 million barrels on around 25 tankers. The country has up to 60 oil tankers in its fleet.
Iran's drawdown of floating storage gathered pace in September. By the start of 2017, Iran still held an estimated 16 million barrels of oil on ships. Since then, they have emptied, Reuters added.
On Monday, Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum announced that the country’s total exports of crude oil and condensate had reached 3.05 million barrels per day (mb/d) – a level not seen since 2012 when the country faced sanctions that restricted its oil exports to only around 1 mb/d. It said the record-level production had been reached over a period of a month starting 20 February 2017.
This came a few days after Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said the country’s total exports of crude oil and condensate already stood at 2.8 mb/d, what he said was a new record in the country’s oil export activities after last year’s removal of sanctions that restricted its oil sales.
Zanganeh had emphasized that this marked a significant success for the country’s oil industry specifically given that it had been achieved within a short period after the removal of the sanctions last January.