March 26, 2014 | Quote

Iran Heads for 5th Month of Oil Exports Above Sanctions Limit

Iran's oil exports have stayed above levels allowed under Western sanctions for a fifth month, according to sources who track tanker movements, in a further sign that a deal to ease some restrictions is helping Tehran sell more crude.

Under the deal, Iran's exports are supposed to be held at an average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20. But shipments to Asia have topped that level at least since November, according to ship tracking data.

The Obama adminstration believes that exports will fall in coming months and on average will fall to the 1 million bpd level stipulated by the interim agreement which went into effect on January 20.

“In order to keep exports within the U.S. limits during the period of the JPOA … they will have to reduce exports by over 40 percent over the next three months in order not to exceed the average of last year,” said Tim Wilson of U.S. based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which backs tougher measures.

“It is currently back to nine vessels. This is based on the assumption that a tanker not making a voyage for more than three months is/was being used for floating oil storage,” the FDD's Wilson said separately. 

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