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iran Says It Holds No Oil Inventories at Sea

Iran has no stockpile of crude oil at sea and its floating gas condensates have all been sold, managing director of Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) said Sunday.

iran Says It Holds No Oil Inventories at Sea
(Monday, May 1, 2017) 21:31

Denying claims that Iran has stored more than 13 million barrels of oil at sea, Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi said Iran has no cargo of seaborne crude, stressing that all the oil in floating storage units have been sold to buyers in Asia including China, India and South Korea as well as to European countries including Italy and France, Mehr News Agency reported.

Earlier this month, Reuters cited unnamed industry sources as saying that Tehran has offloaded 13 million barrels of its oil at sea in the past few months, with seaborne stockpiles estimated at around 16.4 million barrels from 29.6 million barrels at the beginning of October.

In June 2015, Reuters estimated that Iran had piled up as much as 40 million barrels of oil off its coasts in the Persian Gulf, mainly on vessels owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company, according to Financial Tribune.  

According to Mousavi, Iran's floating inventory of gas condensates dwindled as exports picked up soon after the lifting of international sanctions in January 2016 and the increase in  shipments to China, South Korea, Japan and India, its traditional oil buyers.

"The lifting of sanctions gave Iran a fresh lifeline to reassert itself in the global crude market,” he said.

Boosting Export Capacity

Mousavi said oil export capacity from Kharg Oil Terminal has tripled in line with plans to renovate and expand the main terminal for crude shipments.

“The terminal's oil loading capacity has now increased to 7 million barrels per day. In other words, 10 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), with a storage capacity of 360,000 tons, can berth simultaneously without restrictions or technical hurdles."

Kharg Oil Terminal is located on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf some 25km off the coast of Iran. According to officials, more than 90% of Iran’s crude exports are shipped from the key island.

"The overhaul of marine loading arms in Kharg Island expedited the oil loading rate by more than 100,000 barrels per hour," the senior official noted.

Oil Storage Capacity

Iran’s crude oil storage capacity is expected to increase by 10 million barrels as soon as the construction of storage facilities comes to an end in the port city of Genaveh in Bushehr Province.

"New oil storage facilities are being developed to boost storage at and supplies from the southern Kharg Oil Terminal," he added, noting that raising oil storage capacity is a strategic move to maintain sustainable supplies and export of crude oil, particularly when production slackens.

The state-run IOTC, which is a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, owns and operates oil tanker loading terminals in Kharg Island, Asalouyeh, Mahshahr and Neka. 

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