Iran’s oil exports hit 2.7 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in May, the oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported on June 2, a new record since the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran in 2016, and despite the threats of fresh U.S. sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 said the U.S. was exiting a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions that seek to reduce the country’s oil shipments. The U.S. sanctions have a 180-day period during which buyers should “wind down” purchases.
Iran exported 2.4 MMbbl/d of crude oil in May, SHANA reported, and 300,000 bbl/d of natural gas condensate.
Iran’s oil exports were 2.6 MMbbl/d in April.
The bulk of Iran’s crude exports, at least 1.8 MMbbl/d, goes to Asia. Most of the rest goes to Europe and these volumes are seen by analysts and traders as the more vulnerable to being curbed by U.S. sanctions.
Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on May 23 that European powers must protect Iranian oil sales from U.S. sanctions, and continue buying Iranian crude, if they want Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said this week that he was hopeful that an agreement with Europe would inspire other potential buyers of Iranian oil.