Iran says it has increased the capacity of its largest oil terminal to as high as eight million barrels per day (bpd) – another indication that the country is preparing for bigger exports to global markets.
Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi, the managing director of the Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC), was quoted by media as saying that the increase in the loading capacity of Kharq terminal was three times higher than Iran’s current crude and condensate exports.
Mousavi said the same terminal accounts for 95 percent of Iran’s total crude oil exports. He added that Iran’s oil exports were currently more than 2 million bpd of crude oil, together with at least 600,000 bpd of condensates.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the official said that vessel traffic at Kharq terminal had been rising since some of the Western sanctions against Iran were lifted in January 2016.
Energy giants such as France’s Total, Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Lukoil have also sent tankers for loading at the Kharq oil terminal, Iran’s English-language newspaper The Financial Tribune quoted Mousavi as saying.
In the 2016-2017 Iranian year that ended in March, Iran shipped 780 million barrels of crude oil from the Kharg terminal, up by 80 percent from the previous year, IOTC said last month. Gholamhossein Gerami, director of operations at IOTC, said that Iran exported more than 230 million barrels of light crude oil, 480 million barrels of heavy crude and nearly 70 million barrels of Forouzan crude from the terminal, The Financial Tribune added.
Iran, which was allowed to slightly raise output and keep it at 3.8 million bpd under the OPEC production deal, has repeatedly said that it is looking beyond what it says is a ‘short-term’ agreement, and aims to raise its crude oil production and production capacity, wrote OilPrice.com.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh has recently said that by 2021, Iran would add 700,000 bpd to its overall capacity, with a targeted total capacity of 4.7 million bpd. Zanganeh was hopeful that condensate production would increase from 600,000 bpd to 1 million bpd by March, OilPrice.com added in its report.