Figures released by Bloomberg show that Iran shipped 2.28 million barrels a day (mb/d) of crude oil to international markets in September.
The rise came as Iran – together with Iraq that exported 3.98 mb/d last month – took advantage of production cuts implemented by Saudi Arabia. Lower exports by the Saudis provided an opportunity to the two neighbors to win buyers in key markets like China and the US.
Saudi Arabia’s exports were 6.68 million barrels a day, the second-lowest for this year, Bloomberg added.
While Iraq took over the Saudis in exports to the US and India, Iran outpaced the strongest forces inside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over exports to Asian heavyweight China.
The kingdom is expected to fall further behind Iran and Iraq in November as its state oil giant – the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Aramco as it is internationally known, is scheduled to make the deepest cuts in supplies to customers in its history in November, as officially announced by Riyadh.
The difference between China’s imports of Saudi oil and Iranian crude is at an eight-year low, according to customs data from the East Asian country.
Saudi Arabia shipped 833,000 barrels of crude a day to China in September, compared with 600,000 barrels a day from Iran, Bloomberg added.
OPEC’s third-largest producer has ramped up output and doubled exports since sanctions on its energy industry were eased in January 2016.