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OPEC Says Iran's Oil Production Down By 1.65 Million bpd Since US Sanctions

Iranian oilfield, undated. File photo
Iranian oilfield, undated. File photo

The latest OPEC monthly report published November 14 says that not only Iran’s oil production fell in the first ten months of 2019, but also the price of the most exported type of Iranian oil fell.

Iran’s oil production in October decreased by 18,000 barrels, reaching 2,146,000 barrels per day. Iran was producing 3.8 million bpd before the United States imposed sanctions in November 2018.

Based on this data, U.S. sanctions have reduced Iran’s production by 1,650,000 barrels per day; a volume in sync with the reduction in Iran’s oil exports. What Iran produces now is mostly for its domestic consumption, with just 350,000 barrels left for export or storage.

Iran's Oil And Gas Reserves
Iran's Oil And Gas Reserves

This amount is mostly compatible with various estimates of what it has been exporting in recent months. Various estimates have put Iran’s exports between 350,000-200,000 barrels per day in recent months.

This week, Iranian media reported that the government is basing its next year’s budget on zero oil exports. Given the fact that Iran sold around $60 billion of oil in 2018, it is not clear how can government operations continue with a sudden absence of such a large source of revenue.

OPEC also says that the most common type of crude Iran sells is Iran Heavy oil, which started the year at $61.77 a barrel, but has lost 11 percent of its value since then.