Gas condensates main factor behind Iran's oil exports boost

Photo: Gas condensates main factor behind Iran's oil exports boost / Iran

By Dalga Khatinoglu/

Based on the latest reports released by international organizations, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), in January, Iran's oil exports increased by 250,000 barrels per day compared to the country's average monthly exports in 2013.

Iran's monthly oil exports gradually increased in the past four months, reaching 1.32 million barrels per day (including gas condensates) in January.

Iran's average oil exports were around 1.07 million barrels per day in the previous year.

Gas condensates are a kind of light and expensive crude oil extracted from gas fields. Before the US-led sanctions, Iran used to produce 400,000 barrels of gas condensates per day. The country's average monthly income from exporting gas condensates was around 850 million dollars in the mentioned period.

International organizations, such as IEA usually put gas condensate under the category of crude oil exports.

A rise in gas condensates exports

Iran Customs Administration released its new monthly report on Feb. 23. Based on the report, the country exported $959 million worth of gas condensates in the past Iranian calendar month (January 20 - February 19).

Iran's calendar year, which is also the country's fiscal year, starts on March 21.

Iran Customs Administration's reports show that the country's monthly gas condensates exports in the past four months stood at the average figure of $1.388 billion, up 247 per cent compared to the average figure of the first seven months of the current year (ended on November 20).

Iran's average gas condensates exports in the first seven months of the fiscal year were around $561 million per month. Iran's total gas condensate exports in the first eleven months of the current year are around $9.479 billion. The figure is $1.021 billion more than the same period of the previous year.

Iran Customs Administration has yet to disclose the weight and other details of last month's exports.

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors in 2012. Although, Washington never officially put any sanction onIran's gas condensates exports, but the exports of this valuable material, as well as LPG exports (which includes butane and propane and is usually produced during the oil refining process), were also affected.

Iran's gas condensates exports in the past calendar year faced a 12.56 percent decrease compared to its preceding year, standing at $8.881 billion.

Sanctions

Iran and the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement on Nov. 24. Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities for six months in return for sanctions relief including tanker's insurance. The deal was implemented from Jan. 20.

Sanctions on Iran's oil sector are still in place, but lifting sanctions on tanker's insurance, and the fact that Washington has never officially mentioned gas condensates' sanctions will allow Iran to boost its gas condensates exports.

The gas condensates prices are a little more than crude oil. Based on OPEC's report, Iran's heavy crude oil was priced at $104.89 in January and $108.96 in December. So it seems that the increase in Iran's oil exports is due to a sharp rise in the country's gas condensates exports.

Iran's gas condensates exports in the past four months are even more than the same period two years ago (before the US-led sanctions).

Dalga Khatinoglu is Trend Persian Service head

Edited by C.N.

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