A new report shows that Iranian crude oil exports reached 1.2 million barrels per day in January despite continued American pressure on the country.
The Thursday report by Reuters news agency cited figures by oil industry consultants and analysts showing that Iranian crude exports started to surge in December and have continued to date.
The data suggested that most of Iranian oil shipments have gone to China as individual and private buyers in the country continue to defy illegal sanctions imposed by the US on Iran since 2018 when Washington pulled out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program known as the JCPOA.
An unidentified source told Reuters that Iranian oil exports in January rose to its peak in US sanctions era to 1.2 million bpd in January and then started to decline slightly later that month.
Figures by SVB International, a consulting firm that tracks Iranian oil supply, showed that crude exports from the country rose to 1.085 million bpd in January, up from 826,000 bpd in December. The data showed that there has been no difference in the volume of shipments to date.
Consulting firm Petro-Logistics, another oil flow tracking company, provided figures to the Reuters showing that Iranian crude exports started to increase to over 1 million bpd in December before they fell back to around 700,000 bpd in January.
The new data confirms statements in recent weeks by Iranian government authorities suggesting that the country has managed to increase its oil exports since a new administration took office in Tehran in early August.
However, there was no confirmation by Iranian oil and foreign ministries about the report by Reuters.
The report comes as Iran and world powers have resumed talks in Vienna to revive the JCPOA. Experts say a breakthrough in the talks would allow Iran to immediately increase its oil supply to a pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million bpd.