As US sanctions loom, Iran’s oil exports have sharply declined by at least 800 thousand barrels per day (b/d) according to reports, but its production level declined only by about 350 thousand b/d, which show the country is storing a huge amount of unsold oil in on/offshore facilities.

Before President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Iran had boosted exports in 2017 to 2.1 million b/d of crude oil and 400,000 b/d gas condensate.

Reuters reported on October 9 that in the first week of October, exports took another sharp downturn, reaching a low of 1.1 million barrels a day.

U.S. sanctions not only drive customers away, but also impede oil shipments, by inhibiting non-Iranian tankers and their insurance companies from doing business with Iran. This is why if Tehran wants to still ship oil to willing buyers, it would have to rely on its own tanker fleet.

According to official statistics of the National Iranian Oil Tanker Company (NIOT), the country’s tanker fleet capacity is 14.1 million tons (102 million barrels). International organizations put the capacity volume at 98 million barrels.

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