Iran set for oil export boost once sanctions are lifted

Iran is gearing up to deploy its crude oil tankers to the market once the sanctions against the country are lifted, which is expected to take place by the end of January.

What is more, based on the latest statement from the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran may be “days away” from complying with the nuclear deal.

The country has been very busy with meeting the conditions for sanctions lifting, but also for the post-sanction era.

According to Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company, talks are well underway to sell Iran’s gas condensate to undisclosed customers, Mehr News Agency reports.

As disclosed, the condensate is being kept on water and will be ready for transport immediately after the sanctions are removed.

Among the top buyers of Iran’s gas condensate are China, United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Japan.

Iran has already laid the groundwork to increase oil exports to China, India, Japan, and South Korea once the sanctions are lifted.

In addition, preparations are ongoing at Iran’s biggest oil terminal Kharg Terminal to welcome giant tankers, of up to 360 barrels capacity, Qolamhossein Gerami, an official with Iran’s Oil Terminals Company is quoted by MNA as saying.

The terminal can accommodate nine tankers at the same time and is responsible for letting through 94 percent of Iran’s exported oil.

The announcement comes as global container shipping lines slowly return to Iran, the latest one being Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

MSC follows in the footsteps of top carriers such as French CMA CGM, United Arab Shipping Co, and China Shipping Container Line which brought their ships to Bandar Abbas on their Far East – Middle East service as of August, 2015.

Danish transportation conglomerate Maersk has also expressed interest in developing Iran’s oil prospects in the Caspian Sea. However, the recent visit of Danish state officials to Iran, which included Maersk representatives, forms part of what is seen as initial talks on cooperation as Maersk said it would wait for sanctions to be lifted before any concrete announcement is made.

Iran’s oil production jumped for the sixth consecutive month to 3.31 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in November 2015 and could be increased by 500,000 barrels per day immediately after lifting the sanctions.

Influx of Iranian oil into the market is expected to further push down oil prices by up to USD 15 per barrel, according to the International Monetary Fund. Nevertheless, lower prices are likely to prompt countries to up their imports resulting in greater demand for crude tankers.

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