Iran’s crude exports will come down: Biden Adviser

17 November, 2023
Source: Bloomberg

Iran's crude exports will "come down" over the coming months as the US steps up enforcement of economic sanctions, the Biden administration's special presidential co-ordinator for energy security Amos Hochstein said.

"We are going to enforce those sanctions, and those numbers are going to come down," Hochstein said, referring not only to Iran's crude export volumes but also to the revenue Tehran receives from its oil sales. "I think the best antidote to [limit] revenues in Iran is keeping their exports at a lower level, but also to make sure that [oil] prices are lower, because we have that interplay between volume and value," he said.

Iran's oil exports have been trending upwards since the start of the year, averaging 1.35mn b/d in the third quarter, according to Vortexa data, up from just under 1mn b/d in the first quarter and 832,000 b/d across the whole of 2022, with the lion's share going to China. The increase has raised questions about the extent to which the US is enforcing sanctions.

Speaking to Bloomberg on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum in San Francisco on Wednesday, Hochstein dismissed suggestions that Washington is "turning a blind eye", although he did note that the US government faces a tricky balancing act.

"What President Biden has been trying to do is two things at the same time," he said. "Accelerate the energy transition, and put more money into the system, more tax credits, through the IRA, the CHIPS act, and the infrastructure act, while at the same time, ensuring that we have enough oil and gas on the market to sustain economic growth."

Hochstein attributed the growth in Iranian crude exports over the summer months to "significant de-stocking or the selling [of crude] off tankers already on the water", rather than an increase in production. Although data from oil analytics firm Kpler show Iran's total oil inventories ꟷ both onshore and floating ꟷ have indeed fallen by some 25mn bl over the past six months, the country's crude production has also risen markedly. Argus estimates that output held above 3mn b/d for the fourth consecutive month in October, up from 2.58mn b/d in the final quarter of 2022.


The full version of website content is available only to IranOilGas Network members.
Register & Request a Trial Now!

About IranOilGas Network

Established by highly experienced oil & gas professionals in 2000, IranOilGas Network is the leading independent Iranian oil, gas & petrochemical information network providing a variety of consultancy & information services.

to IranOilGas Network