Oil production in Iran could fall in May to a minimum since the 1980s due to US sanctions

24 May, 2019

An Iranian national flag flies over a refinery in Bandar Abbas, Iran.
Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Due to US sanctions, the oil production in Iran could fall to a minimum since the 1980s, when oil production in the country suffered from the war with Iraq, the International Energy Agency (IEA) writes in its May report.

In April, Iran's production fell by 130 thousand b/d reaching 2.61 million b/d. As it was previously reported, the United States did not renew the temporary permits for the import of Iranian oil in May which were issued in November to eight countries.
Iranian oil exports fell from 2.6 million b/d in April of last year to 1.3 million b/d in April of this year.

As it was previously reported, a number of countries of the OPEC+ alliance, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, have already expressed their willingness to meet the demand of customers in the event of a shortage of supply. According to the IEA, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia and the United Arab Emirates can replace the supply of medium-heavy types of Iranian oil. As for gas condensate, Iranian supplies may be replaced by similar ones from Australia and Qatar, the report says.

In April, Turkey purchased 190 thousand b/d of Iranian oil as compared to 140 thousand b/d in March; Japan and South Korea stopped purchasing Iranian oil in April.

The military conflict between Iran and Iraq lasted from 1980 to 1988. According to the US Department of Energy, Iran’s production in 1981 fell to 1.5 million b/d, whereas before the outbreak of hostilities it exceeded 5 million b/d. China, the largest buyer of Iranian oil, bought 270 thousand b/d in April against 780 thousand b/d in March. CNPC and Sinopec reported that they will not buy Iranian oil in May.

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