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Iran's Real Oil Exports Might Be Much Higher Than Estimated: Tanker-Tracking Firm

Iran Delvar , an Iranian Oil Tanker. Undated. FILE PHOTO
Iran Delvar , an Iranian Oil Tanker. Undated. FILE PHOTO, a company that tracks and reports shipments and storage of crude oil says Iran probably exports twice as much oil as estimated.

In its latest report, the online service has referred to India's tanker Giessel that recently received its cargo from an Iranian oil tanker in the Sea of Oman and delivered it to China.

Various cases of transferring Iranian oil shipments to other tankers in the middle of oceans have been reported. Such operations are aimed at covering up the source of oil shipments and movements of tankers.

Based on the data provided by Kpler, an international data intelligence company, Giessel's case was first reported by Radio Farda on August 6.

According to, the Indian oil product tanker initially sailed into the Strait of Hormuz early in May, then returned to the Sea of Oman. Its tracking signal deceptively showed that it was still heading westward, through the Persian Gulf.

Furthermore, has published a picture of the two million-barrel-capacity Giessel loading oil near a smaller Iranian tanker.

Based on the same report, Giessel, owned by the Indian Vega shipping company, received one million barrels of oil from the Iranian tanker and transferred the cargo to China.

At the same time, Vega has refused to respond to questions raised by NBC, which had aired Tanker Trackers' findings.

Giessel arrived in China on June 13 and unloaded its cargo, but in its June report, Chinese customs said that no oil was imported from Iran that month.

A source, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Radio Farda that the cargo was delivered to China as Indonesian oil.

Previous estimates by various sources put Iran's oil exports at between 100,00-200,000 of barrels per day, but that could have been true a few months ago.

Chinese Customs data show that Beijing imported 1.6 million barrels of Indonesian oil in June.

Kpler had also told Radio Farda that Iran exported 60,000 barrels of oil per day to Malaysia between January and May. Nevertheless, Malaysian Customs data show that Kuala Lumpur has not bought any oil from Iran. So, these cargoes have been delivered to China as Malaysian crude.

In the first seven months of 2020, Kpler data show that Iran exported 230,000 barrels per day, which is 90% less than before the sanctions.

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also said that Iran's oil exports had fallen by 90 percent. Still, has published the picture of sixteen Iranian oil tankers that had secretly transferred their cargo to other vessels on the high seas.

The company says Iran's daily oil exports are likely to be over 600,000 barrels, twice more than what was estimated before.

China and Syria are the only countries that officially buy oil from Iran. Official Chinese customs data show that it imported 70,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran in the first half of the year, except in June.

Last Friday, the chairman of a senate committee in Pakistan, Rehman Malik, took serious notice of the matter regarding the seizure of an Iranian ship at the Port Qasim, Karachi, over its involvement in oil smuggling into Pakistan.

According to a Friday statement, Malik said that seizure of an Iranian ship, smuggling oil, was a serious international issue. "The seizure might bring Pakistan under pressure as the smugglers had not respected Pakistani law and sanctions on Iran," local Pakistani news outlets cited him saying on August 8