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December 13, 2013 12:09 pm

Iran Crude Oil Exports Rise by Over 11% in November

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Iranian oil tanker. Photo: WikiCommons.

Iranian oil tanker. Photo: WikiCommons.

Iran’s crude oil exports had already been growing, before the agreement in Geneva last month with the world powers to lift many of the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, semi-official Iranian outlets FARS and PressTV reported on Friday, citing data released by the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

The IEA said preliminary estimates show that the receipts of Iranian petroleum and gas condensate exports climbed by 89,000 barrels per day (bpd) in November to 850,000 bpd, as China increased its purchases and Iran’s energy shipments to Taiwan resumed, in deals that would have been struck before the November 24 Geneva agreement that would allow Iran to rejoin the global economy, with far fewer restrictions.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said earlier this month that Iran will “immediately” raise its crude oil exports to 4 million bpd once the U.S.-led sanctions are formally lifted.

The Iranian minister has already invited France’s Total group, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway’s Statoil, Italy’s Eni, British Petroleum, and American oil firms Exxon and Conoco to develop new oil projects in Iran.

For November, the IEA cited tanker data to show that Iran withdrew 15 million barrels from its floating storage, while its production increased by 13,000 bpd to 2.71 millions bpd in the past two months.

Separately, FARS reported that Iran’s natural gas industry has already also been seeking growth opportunities, with an agreement expected within a month to move forward with a $5 billion, 1,400 km pipeline project through the Sea of Oman to be able to deliver natural gas to India, citing National Iranian Gas Exports Company Marketing Manager Ali Amirani.

Amirani stated that India’s South Asia Gas Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. conducted feasibility studies for the pipeline, which could carry 31 million cubic meters per day of gas to India from Iran’s gigantic South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.

South Pars is the world’s largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar. According to the IEA, the field holds an estimated 1,800 trillion cubic feet (51 trillion cubic meters) of in-situ natural gas and some 50 billion barrels (7.9 billion cubic meters) of natural gas condensate.

Only days after the Geneva interim agreement was signed, India stepped forward, via Indian Oil Secretary Vivek Rae, to say the country was prepared to return to its pre-sanction purchases of 21 million tons of crude oil, worth some $5 billion, as early as next year, if the sanctions were to fully disappear.

The sanctions had forced India to use multiple currencies and multiple foreign banks to get payments to the Islamic Republic, and, typically, transfer limits meant only about half the money would actually arrive.

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