Iran has started loading crude from a new oil export terminal built just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway which accommodates a fifth of the global oil supply.
Iranian Oil Ministry authorities said on Monday that crude had finally reached the Jask port on the Sea of Oman after traveling some 1,000 kilometers from Iran’s oil pumping facilities in Persian Gulf’s westernmost region of Goureh through a newly-built pipeline that stretches around the Strait.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to formally announce the rollout of the Goureh-Jask Pipeline on July 22, according to recent statements by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
However, authorities in Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), a subsidiary of the NIOC, said on Monday that crude had started to be loaded to a tanker parked six kilometers off Jask in the runup to inauguration.
PEDEC’s CEO Touraj Dehghani said that a first phase of the Goureh-Jask Pipeline project will enable Iran to export 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from the new export facilities in the region.
The project, which has cost $2 billion in nominal government investment over the past two years, will reach 1 million bpd of capacity once it is fully ready in October.
Dehghani said some six million bpd of crude should always be available throughout the Goureh-Jask Pipeline to ensure sufficient supplies reach storage facilities in Jask.
Iran hopes the new terminal in Jask will allow increased exports of crude once it is relieved of US sanctions on its oil sales.
The strategic Pipeline will create a secure route for delivering crude to foreign customers just outside of the Strait where tankers have been subject to attacks and sabotage in recent years.