TEHRAN: Close to 780 million barrels of oil were exported from Iran’s largest oil loading and export facility, the Kharg Oil Terminal, in the previous fiscal year that ended on March 20, 2017, Iran Oil Terminals Company said in a report. The terminal, 25 kilometers off the Iranian coast in the Persian Gulf, shipped a total of 230 million barrels of light and 480 million barrels of heavy crude as well as 70 million barrels from Forouzan Oilfield near Kharg Island, which is shared by Iran and Saudi Arabia, Shana reported. Daily exports stood just above 2.1 million barrels, according to the report. More than 90% of Iran’s crude are shipped from the terminal. According to IOTC data, oil loading capacity at Kharg has increased to 8 million bpd, nearly three times over and above the current level of oil and condensates exports. Over 800 tankers and vessels of all sizes berthed at the terminal in the last fiscal, up from 540 in the previous year, or around 33%. The report added that gas condensate exports from the southern port of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province jumped nearly 50% year-on-year. Asalouyeh is home to expansive gas production and processing facilities of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field shared between Iran and Qatar.
Once the world’s largest offshore crude oil terminal and the main marine terminal for Iranian oil, Kharg Island’s facilities were decommissioned during the Iraq-imposed war (1980-88) following heavy bombardments by the enemy forces. The heavy tanker traffic at Iran’s main crude oil export hub stems from last year’s lifting of sanctions that allowed the country to raise output and resume shipments to customers who were unable to purchase Iran’s crude oil over trade embargoes against Tehran over its nuclear program. Under the sanctions, production was significantly curtailed and exports fell to just above 1 million barrels per day as some Iranian and foreign tankers were reportedly forced to reflag to continue moving Iranian crude. According to Ali Kardor, chief executive of the National Iranian Oil Company, Iran is pumping 3.95 million barrels of crude oil daily with exports at 2.2 million bpd, ISNA reported on Wednesday. That is 50,000 barrels higher than what Iran reported to OPEC in July through direct communications. According to calculations by the group’s secondary sources, Iran produced 3.824 million barrels of oil a day in July, up nearly 7,000 barrels per day from the previous month. Officials place condensate exports between 600,000 and 700,000 barrels a day.