10m-Barrel Rise in Iran's Oil Storage Capacity

The prospective storage facilities are planned to back oil exports from the Kharg Island Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf.The prospective storage facilities are planned to back oil exports from the Kharg Island Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s crude oil storage capacity will increase by 10 million barrels in the current Iranian year (started March 20), managing director of Iranian Oil Terminals Company announced on Sunday.

“With the construction of the 10-million-barrel oil storage facilities this year in the port city of Genaveh in Bushehr Province, the country’s capacity for storing oil will receive a significant boost,” Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

According to Mousavi, prospective storage facilities have been planned to support oil exports from the southern Kharg Island Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf.

“The oil storage project is a strategic plan to maintain sustainable crude oil production and complete and enhance value chain in the oil industry,” he said.

The state-run IOTC, which is a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, owns and operates oil carrier tanker loading terminals in Kharg Island, Asalouyeh, Mahshahr and Neka.  Hoping that the measures would help develop the oil industry, Mousavi stressed that this is the first time the private sector has started the construction of oil storage tanks in the province.   

“In addition to storing oil produced by National Iranian South Oil Company, crude coming from West Karun Oilfields in the province of Khuzestan will also be stored in the units,” he said.

Iran is also gradually raising its storage capacity for oil byproducts.

Abdollah Mollabaqer, director for engineering and planning at the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, told Mehr News Agency in May that the country’s capacity for holding strategic petroleum reserves, including gasoline and diesel, will reach close to 13 billion liters by the end of the current year.

“Five oil storage units are currently under construction, of which two will go on stream this year,” he said.

Referring to the fuel storage units that have gone on stream, Mollabaqer said over the past year, Mahshahr Oil Terminal, which is capable of storing 300 million liters in 16 tanks, a 68-million-liter terminal in Malayer in Hamedan Province in eight tanks and Shiraz oil depot that can store 168 million liters of liquefied fuels in12 tanks became operational.

  Global Oil Storage Industry

In a world awash with cheap oil and plunging profits, the profits of storage tank owners have increased significantly.

While not nearly as famous as giant oil producers Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell, storage companies such as Vopak NV, Kinder Morgan Inc., Oiltanking GmbH and Magellan Midstream Partners LP are benefiting from rising demand for onshore tanks and higher prices to rent limited space.

According to The Business Times, China plans to construct a total of 441 million barrels of storage for its strategic petroleum reserve in three construction phases. That would equal about 60 days of China's current crude imports of about 7.4 million barrels per day, based on Reuters’ calculations.

To push for a switch to cleaner energy resources, it also plans to build natural gas storage tanks to hold 4.6% of the nation's total gas consumption by 2020, the paper said. China has been the main driver of global oil demand, accounting for almost half of global growth over the last 10 years.