LONDON: Iran’s crude oil exports have surged to their highest in 20 months, far exceeding a one million barrel-per-day limit set by the West under an interim deal on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.
In its monthly report, the International Energy Agency revised global crude import volumes from Iran upwards by 240,000 bpd to 1.65 million barrels per day, the highest since June 2012.
China accounted for 168,000 bpd of the rise in imports, India for 93,000 bpd and South Korea for 83,000 bpd.
On the other hand, Japanese imports of Iranian oil were revised lower by 103,000 bpd, according to the IEA.
“Imports of Iranian oil are running well above 2013 levels for the third consecutive month,” the report said.
“Preliminary data for March show imports from Iran declined to 1.05 million bpd but that figure will likely be revised upward closer to February levels upon receipt of more complete data,” it said.
Exports of Iranian condensate, a form of very light oil, reached 140,000 bpd in February and 110,000 bpd in March, significantly lower than January’s 250,000 bpd.
Under a landmark deal signed between Iran and the West in November, Iran’s exports are supposed to be held at an average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20. But shipments to Asia have topped that level at least since November.
Tough international sanctions over the past two years have cut Iran’s oil exports in half.