A member of Iran’s parliament says oil sales by the country rose by 20% in the first half of the calendar year that started in late March against the previous six-month period to reach 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi said on Saturday that Iran had also increased its exports of petroleum products over the March-September period.
The announcement confirms previous reports by global tanker tracking services which indicated that Iran has been increasing its oil exports in recent months despite a continued regime of US sanctions that bar countries and entities that have interests in the US from buying Iranian oil.
Those reports have suggested that a bulk of Iranian oil shipments have been sold to private refineries in China.
US sanctions were imposed in 2018 after a former government in Washington pulled out of international deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The bans were toughened in May 2019, leaving Iran with oil exports of as low as 300,000 bpd.
Pourebrahimi told the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran’s access to funds generated by oil exports to other countries had also improved in the six months to late September.
He said, however, that the Iranian government would seek to increase its exports of petroleum products to compensate for losses suffered in direct oil exports.
“Relying on sales of petroleum products could significantly boost our hard currency revenues,” said the lawmaker who chairs the Iranian parliament’s economic committee.
Latest market figures show Iran’s total production of crude oil is around 2.7 million bpd, some 1 million bpd lower than figures reported before the US imposed its sanctions on the country.
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