Asian Imports of Iranian Crude Rise

Asian Imports of Iranian Crude Rise
Asian Imports of Iranian Crude Rise

The four biggest buyers of Iranian crude oil in Asia increased their imports in April by nearly 23% from a year earlier as Tehran's exemption from a global production cuts favors the country's oil export drive.

China, India, South Korea and Japan imported 1.6 million barrels per day last month, government and ship-tracking data showed, Reuters reported.

However, exports to Asia were down nearly 18% from March, suggesting Iran may be at the limits of its efforts to boost production after sanctions were lifted in January 2015. Iran has cleared out most of the oil it held in storage while the sanctions were in place. Asian countries buy most of the oil the country exports.

Iran is pushing hard to raise production and hopes to sign deals with oil majors such as Total and Lukoil this year after the re-election this month of President Hassan Rouhani.

A tender for the Azadegan Oilfield, which has an estimated 37 billion barrels of crude, was announced Monday, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The development of new fields as well as improved oil recovery from mature reservoirs should allow Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, to have the capacity to pump 5 million barrels per day, or 5% of global crude, from 4 million bpd now.

In the first four months of 2017, the four Asian countries imported 1.8 million bpd, a 40% rise from the same period last year.

Iran was exempted from a deal between OPEC and other producers, including Russia, to reduce output by 1.8 million bpd from Jan. 1, and will remain so after the cut was extended last week for a further nine months.

Japan's Trade Ministry on Wednesday released official data, showing Iranian imports were at 41,401 bpd last month, more than double the figure from a year earlier.


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