Iran: Oil increase needed as sanctions bite
Iran will build millions of barrels of oil storage facilities in the Gulf over the next few months in response to international sanctions on its exports, Iran’s Press TV reported.
“By the middle of the next (Persian calendar) year (beginning March 20, 2013), nearly 8.1 million barrels will be added to the crude oil storage capacity of Iran,” Press TV reported the managing director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), Mahmoud Zirakchian-Zadeh, as saying.
The International Energy Agency estimates that Iranian oil exports rose to 1.3 million barrels a day (mbpd) in October from around one mbpd in August and September, but sales are still far below the 2.2 mbpd it exported in 2011 because of sanctions.
Western governments led by the US have increased pressure on the Islamic Republic this year in an attempt to curb its nuclear programme that they say is includes atomic weapons but Tehran says is peaceful.
In early 2012, Iran used some of its fleet of oil tankers to store crude it could not sell due to western pressure on its customers to reduce their intake. But the number of ships anchored off its main export terminal in the Gulf, Kharg Island, has fallen sharply over the last few months, ship tracking data shows, as Iran’s state tanker company has had to use more of its own vessels.
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