Iran’s oil exports are at highest level in two yearsIran’s oil exports will remain near the highest level in two years as talks with six global powers over the Persian Gulf state’s nuclear program are extended for four more months, according to six analysts in a survey.
Sales of crude and condensates by Iran to six main buyers averaged 1.27 million barrels a day in the first six months of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from customs statistics and International Energy Agency estimates. Shipments will stay near that level in the second half, according to the analysts Bloomberg surveyed on July 16 and 17.
“Iran’s going to want oil exports to keep edging up, and the U.S. has been willing to allow some wiggle room,” Robin Mills, an analyst at Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management, said by phone from Dubai yesterday. “The extension is a sign they’ve made progress on nuclear talks and think they can reach a deal. The U.S. won’t let oil exports get in the way.”
Negotiators from the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom agreed with Iranian officials to continue talks at intervals until Nov. 24, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in comments posted on the State Department website on July 18. The parties failed to reach yesterday’s deadline for a deal ensuring Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful in return for lifting sanctions. The constraints are hurting Iran’s economy.
The two sides didn’t specifically address crude-export levels when announcing the decision to extend the period for talks. Terms of the extension agreement are similar to those in the previous six-month period, Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign policy chief, and Wan Qun, the Chinese envoy to the talks, said Nov. 19.
The United States lets China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan take crude from Iran, so long as that country’s total sales stay at about 1.1 million barrels a day.