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DUBAI: Iran’s crude oil sales dived to just 800,000 barrels per day (b/d) in July, due to Western sanctions, but are likely to have bounced back last month, a senior Iranian legislator was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Iranian officials usually play down the impact of US and European restrictions on their oil industry, with Iran’s oil minister saying on Saturday production would hold steady this year despite an EU ban on Iranian oil imports and shipping insurance since July.
But Mohammad Reza Bahonar, deputy-speaker of Iran’s parliament, said yesterday that the country’s oil sales had dropped sharply as a result of sanctions designed to pressure Iran to give up its disputed nuclear programme.
“In the month of Tir (June 21-July 21) oil sales were about 800,000 b/d,” Bahonar, who is also general secretary of Iran’s Islamic Society of Engineers, said. He said that oil sales averaged about 1m b/d from the end of March to late August, compared to exports of 2.3-2.4m b/d last year. Daily Iranian oil exports of just 800,000 b/d for July are lower than International Energy Agency estimates of 1m b/d.
Bahonar said exports may have bounced back to about 1.5m b/d in August 22 to September 22, after Iran solved some of its shipping problems. But getting the money back to Iran for those sales continues to be a major headache for the government.