Iran Becomes Top Oil Exporter to France

Iran Becomes Top Oil Exporter to France
Iran Becomes Top Oil Exporter to France

Iran became the top crude exporter to France in September, for the first time since it began exports there after the removal of international sanctions in January.

It surpassed Saudi Arabian and Iraqi cargos, which both posted recent lows for market share, Argus Media reported.

Iranian oil exports to France hit just over 200,000 barrels per day in September, putting the country's crude shipments ahead of competitors Nigeria with 185,000 bpd, followed by Russia and Kazakhstan.

Iran had not exported any crude to France until April this year, because of restrictions related to its nuclear program.

Iran has increased production by more than 800,000 bpd since sanctions ended, hitting 3.68 million bpd in October. The country returned to global oil markets at a time when other major producers were locked in a battle for market share and it has made major inroads into French supplies. As Iranian oil shipments to France have grown, rivals have been squeezed out.

Saudi Arabian crude cargos dropped to 80,000 bpd in September, the lowest level for Saudi shipments to France since December 2012. The level was also Saudi Arabia's lowest market share of French crude imports for any month back to January 2012, down to just 7.1%.

As Europe remains well supplied with crude, other producing countries are also finding increased competition tough. Iraqi cargo to France tumbled to just 1,000 bpd in September, compared with 110,000 bpd a year earlier.

Although Saudi Arabia remained the biggest crude supplier to France in the first three quarters of this year, with 160,000 bpd, this was down by 29% from 225,000 bpd in the same period a year earlier. It was ahead of Kazakhstan with 140,000 bpd, down by 14% on the year, Russia with 120,000 bpd, up by 27%, and Nigeria with 115,000 bpd, down by 12%.

Total French crude imports in September were just over 1.1mn bpd, down by 10% compared with September 2015. In the first three quarters of the year, French crude imports were just under 1.1 million bpd, down by 3% compared with January–September 2015.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints