Iran's ability in increasing oil export uncertain – expert

Iran's ability in increasing oil export uncertain – expert

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 6

By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

Germany, Spain, and Greece are likely to start buying Iranian oil after a prospective June 30 comprehensive nuclear deal, Mehrdad Emadi, consultant at the U.K.-based Betamatrix International Consultancy told Trend April 6.

Although Germany has not made a decision yet on increasing oil imports, Spain and Greece have both been old customers of Iran's oil.

Iranian National Oil Company's Director Of International Affairs Mohsen Qamsari says that some EU member states are ready for the international sanctions on Iran to be removed in order to start importing oil from Iran.

Iran and the group 5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) are in talks over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. If they succeed in striking a deal, Western sanctions on Iran's economy would be lifted.

Before Western sanctions, Iran used to export 2.2 million barrels of crude per day, 18 percent of that was exported to EU.

The EU reduced its oil import from Iran in early 2012, to fully stop the trade by the mid-year.

Emadi says that by giving discount, Iran can once more increase its oil export.

The expert said that traditional customers of the Iranian oil such as Italy and France are likely to get back to the Iranian oil market more slowly because they have conducted tight trade relations with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

Except for Turkey, Iran is now selling almost all of its oil to Asian markets, with China buying almost half of it.

India, Japan, and South Korea are the other main customers.

Emadi says that if Iran increases it heavy crude output, it would have to give more discount to attract customers.

The larger part of oil produced in Iran comes with an API of about 30° and high sulfur content, although some part of the country's output is light, with higher API and lower sulfur.

Crude Oil Qualities in Iran

Product Name

API gravity

Sulphur content (as % of mass)

Doroud

34°

2.5%

Foroozan Blend

29.7°

2.34%

Iran Heavy

30.2°

1.77%

Iran Light

33.1°

1.50%

Lavan Blend

34.2°

1.93%

Mediterranean Sidi Kerir (Heavy)

30°

[Mediterranean Sidi Kerir (Light)

34°

Nowruz/Soroush

18-19°

3.4-3.5%

Sirri

33.4°

1.81%

Iran shut down some of its oil wells in 2012. But it is not clear what type of oil production it has reduced, or if wells are reopened, which type of oil's production will increase.

On the other hand, 80 percent of Iran's operating oil fields are in their second half- life, that is, each year their production decreases by 8 to 13 percent.

Having in mind that since 2007 Iran has not been able to turn any new oil field operational, it is not clear how much the country will boost its oil production when wells are reopened.

Iran might succeed in selling more oil to Eastern markets to some extent, witnessed by the fact that right now it stores 30 million barrels of oil stored in tankers; but since contracts with Eastern countries are usually termed one year, and with an eye to the surplus oil in market right now, it cannot be decided how much Iran can increase its oil export to Asian markets.

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