Iran Expands Crude Export Infrastructure

Iran has successfully boosted export capacity from its main crude export terminal on Kharg Island. But despite progress, the planned launch of a new West Karun heavy crude grade continues to be held up by inadequate infrastructure.

As post-sanctions Iranian crude production and exports have grown, development of Iran’s export infrastructure has also continued. Iran announced this week that capacity at its main crude export terminal Kharg Island has hit 8mn b/d, up from 7mn b/d in December 2016. This is more than three times current crude and condensate exports, but crucially it enables tankers to “berth at nine newly overhauled loading arms without restrictions or technical hurdles” according to Iran Oil Terminals Company (IOTC).

Iranian oil exports have ramped up since sanctions were eased in January 2016, with volumes in the first five months of 2017 up 30% year-on-year at 2.2mn b/d, and the growth continues. The IEA says that crude exports rose 510,000 b/d in May to 2.28mn b/d, though condensate exports fell from 220,000 b/d to 140,000 b/d. The combined 2.42mn b/d exports is the highest since October: June import statistics for Iran’s key Asian customers are thus set to indicate bumper volumes. (CONTINUED - 856 WORDS)