Iran’s oil exports are down at least 40% ahead of comprehensive US sanctions from November 5.
Tanker data indicates Iran has exported 1.33 million barrels per day in October, down from 2.5 million bpd in April, just before Donald Trump announced American withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and ordered expansion of sanctions.
An industry source estimated shipments at 1.5 million bpd, including vessels which are evading satellite tracking.
Ahead of the comprehensive US sanctions, including on Iran’s energy and finance sectors, major customers such as South Korea and Japan have suspended their purchases. Turkey and Italy are the last buyers of Iranian crude outside China, India, and the Middle East, according to tanker data and an industry source.
Oil exports accounts for about 50% of Government revenue.
Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri claimed on Sunday that Iran will suffer no effects, even if its oil sales are halved, because of a doubling of oil prices with the reduction of Iranian supplies.
In fact, oil prices have risen only about 12% since April, when they stood at $72 per barrel. The cut in Iranian oil on the market has largely been covered by an increase in output by other OPEC members and by Russia.
Brian Hook, the US Government’s head of Iranian operations, said Monday that Washington still aims to cut Iran’s oil sales to zero, despite China’s continued purchases and India’s decision not to halt imports in November.
Hook spoke to reporters after a visit to India, a major importer of Iranian oil, and talks with officials from France, the UK, and Germany.