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Iran crude oil exports are higher than expected, and announced itsefl gasoline 'self-sufficient' after the ribbon-cuttiing of major refinery.
Iran's crude oil exports were higher than expected in January and have remained between 1.1-1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, according to national and Refinitiv Eikon information. Some Eastern countries have received waivers from President Trump’s sanctions to do business with the Islamic Republic.
Crude shipments from Iran averaged 1.25 million bpd for the first month of 2019, and are staying at about 1.1-1.3 million bpd during February.
Iran negotiated with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to exempt itself from the oil-producing pact’s November 2018 announcement to cut output in order to stabilize international prices.
"We think people are taking more ahead of the deadline," an oil industry source told Reuters, referring to the end of U.S. sanctions waivers in May.
Some had predicted Iranian crude exports would stay below 1 million bpd in January following its December amounts. The White House gave waivers to eight buyers of Iranian oil, including the governments of China, India, Japan and South Korea that were all the major buyers of Iranian crude in February, says Reuters.
Azernews reports that only 10 of OPEC’s 21 member nations have so far been compliant with the agreed upon cuts. Despite this, oil prices have remained at their 2019 high of US$67 per barrel.
On Monday Iran declared itself a non-exporter of gasoline. The country’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told state media at the opening of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in Bandar Abbas the nation was “self sufficient” in refined oil. Construction on the plant began in 2006.
“Fortunately, we do not need to import gasoline anymore. We have reached self-sufficiency. We can export our produced gasoline but have no export plans,” Zangeneh said at the Persian Gulf Star ribbon cutting. “We intentionally do not export gasoline because we want to raise the country's gasoline stocks,” Zangeneh said.
Currently, Iran is producing more than 100 million liters of gasoline per day and hasn’t imported any of the fuel since September, according to Press TV.
For decades Iran had been unable to fulfill its domestic processed oil needs because of the lack of refineries and was purchasing as much as 10 million liters per day from abroad when the U.S. Obama administration imposed further sanctions on Tehran in 2011.