TEHRAN -- Iran’s oil exports have reached their highest level since the reimposition of U.S. sanctions in 2018, the country’s Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji said on Sunday.
Following the United States’ exit from a 2015 nuclear deal and its reimposition of sanctions on Tehran in 2018, Iranian oil exports and revenues took a hit as fewer countries continued to purchase Iranian crude.
Owji said that 83 million more oil barrels in the current year starting 21st March 2022 were exported compared to the previous Iranian year running March 2021-2022.
This represents 190 million more barrels than two years prior according to Owji, who added that gas exports increased by 15% in 2022-23 compared to the previous Iranian year.
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on 39 entities, including many based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, that Washington said facilitate Iran’s access to the global financial system, describing them as a “shadow banking” network that moves billions of dollars.
In January, Iran’s media reports said the country’s overall exports of crude oil, petroleum products, gas, condensates, liquids and LPG had reached 2.23 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), which was the same figure as before the sanctions.
They totaled $14.35 billion in the first quarter of the current Iranian year which ends on March 20, averaging $154 million a day, one report said, citing the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) figures.
“Assuming crude at $80 a barrel, this amount of revenue is equivalent to the export of 1.92 million barrels of oil a day,” it added.
Iran’s draft state budget is based on shipments of 1.4 million bpd, according to Fars news agency.
Following former President Donald Trump’s removal of the United States from the nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions, Iran’s crude exports fell back to as little as 100,000 bpd at times in 2020 from over 2.5 million bpd in 2018.
Exports have risen during the term of President Ebrahim Raisi, and hit the highest since 2019 on some estimates.
The White House has said the Biden administration’s enforcement of the sanctions on Iran remains robust, rejecting claims that the current U.S. regime was not as strict as its predecessor.
While part of Iran’s oil has been available to the market, its petrochemical exports have been crucial to the country’s sanction-busting effort.
Iranian officials say the wide variety of petrochemical products and huge international demand for them because of their quality and price make the industry unsanctionable.
The Iranian economy minister has said the country’s income from oil and condensates exports was 580% higher in the first four months of the Iranian year (March 21 to July 21) in 2022 compared with the same period a year ago.