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Iran's Gas Exports To Turkey Drop To One-Third Of Last Year

An Iranian worker stands in front of gas pipelines next to the flags of Turkey (R) and Iran. File photo

In its latest report on Friday, November 1, Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)) says that natural gas imports from Iran last August has nearly dropped to one-third compared with the same period in the previous year.

The Islamic Republic managed to export only 160 million cubic meters (approximately 5.65 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to Turkey last August.

Iran's total natural gas export to Turkey in the first eight months of the current year also dropped 10.5%, amounting to 4.5 billion cubic meters (roughly 160 billion cubic feet).

EMRA has also disclosed that since last June Turkey has not received any crude oil consignment from Iran.

During the past eight months, Turkey bought less than 2.1 million tons of crude oil from Iran, while the figure in the same period last year was 5.16 million, and more than seven million tons, in 2017.

Meanwhile, Turkey Statistics Center says the country's total exports to Iran in the first nine months of the current year amounted to $1.73 billion, showing 5% and 25% drop compared to 2018 and 2017, respectively.

In the same period, Iran managed to export $3 billion dollars of oil and non-oil products to Turkey, which shows 46% and 49% drop, respectively, compared with 2018 and 2017.

Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in May 2018, and a year later, stopped renewing its waivers for the major Iranian oil buyers, including Turkey.

The latest data provided by the international oil tanker tracking companies indicate that while Iran used to export up to 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) before Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA, it currently ships under 200,000 bpd. At the moment, only China and Syria receive oil from Iran, but it is not clear whether they pay for the consignments or not.

Iran also sells some gasoline and diesel to local companies which export it to neighboring countries using tanker trucks.

Based on the two contracts signed for the development of Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields, Iran has committed itself to deliver crude to the Chinese companies, CNPC and Sinopec to compensate for their investments in the fields.

However, there are also reports that other Chinese companies have also continued buying Iranian crude in limited amounts.

Retaliating, Washington recently added to its blacklist a refinery and several companies in China for disregarding the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran.

The Islamic Republic oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, admitted last month that Tehran's income from oil export shows a $50 billion drop.

Furthermore, Reuters reported on Friday that Iran's oil production last month amounted to 2.05 million bpd, while before Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA, it used to be over 3.8 million bpd.