Iran denies sharp fall in oil exports
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.13/ Trend G.Mehdi/
Iran's oil exports have remained steady in recent months, OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi said, denying reports of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which claimed Iran's oil exports had plunged in September.
"Iran's oil exports are the same as in previous months and the situation is stable," ISNA News Agency quoted Khatibi as saying on Saturday.
In a report made on Friday, the IEA estimated Iran's exports falling to 860,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, a huge plunge from 2.2 million bpd at the end of 2011, Reuters reported.
Khatibi also denied that the only buyers of Iranian oil were China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey.
"The Iranian oil market is beyond the mentioned countries. We are always exploring new markets but we don't publicise them because it may be detrimental," Khatibi stated without going into details.
On September 2, Khatibi, who is also the director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said Iran's oil exports are at their normal level and are not affected by Western embargoes.
"We don't see anything abnormal, almost everything is progressing routinely," he told the ISNA News Agency.
In July, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi noted that although the West has imposed sanctions on Iran's oil sector with the goal of toppling the Islamic establishment, the country's oil exports will never be halted because oil consuming countries need Iranian crude.
"There are many ways to sell oil, one of which is to take advantage of businessmen and the private sector," Qasemi said.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
U.S. sanctions came into effect on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.
Iranian exports slipped to 860,0000 bpd in September, the IEA, an adviser to 28 industrialised countries, said in Friday's report, a new low. Shipments were 2.2 million bpd at the end of 2011.