Oil Exports Exceed 2m bpd

Oil Exports Exceed 2m bpdOil Exports Exceed 2m bpd

Iran’s crude shipments have risen by more than 600,000 barrels per day this month, adding to the pressure facing producer nations, as they prepare to meet in Doha, Qatar, to discuss freezing output to prop up oil prices.

Tankers carrying about 28.8 million barrels of crude, or more than 2 million bpd, left the Persian Gulf country’s ports in the first 14 days of April, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

That compares with a rate of about 1.45 million barrels a day in March.

Putting the numbers in context, 600,000 barrels a day are precisely the volume of US oil that has declined after peaking late last year as a result of the collapse in oil prices and the mothballing of various rigs.

Iran was freed from wide-ranging sanctions in January, allowing it to add barrels to an already oversupplied market. Saudi Arabia, Russia and more than a dozen other producers are gathering in Doha on April 17 to discuss a plan to cap output at January levels.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said his country will only limit its supply, if Iran does likewise.

China will be the biggest recipient of Iranian crude loaded so far this month, while flows to Japan are resuming after halting in March, the tracking data show.

The resurgence in Iranian shipments comes after deliveries from other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped last month amid supply disruptions. Nigeria and Iraq saw a combined decline of 90,000 barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Iranian volumes highlight that a rebalancing of the market will have to come primarily from countries outside OPEC, provided that crude prices do not rise too far, said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S.

If Iran “can keep up sales of that magnitude during the coming months when supply disruptions from northern Iraq and Nigeria begin to fade, we may have to look a bit further out for that rebalancing”, he said.