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Wednesday, 27 June 18
SHIPPING MARKET INSIGHT - APOSTOLOS ROMPOPOULOS
IntermodalAfter the abolishment of the trade embargo against Iran, there was a lot of optimism from the country’s side, as after quite some time a number of companies started demonstrating interest for oil and gas investments there.
 
The start was rather encouraging as in January 2016, with production increasing from 2.8 million barrels per day to 3.5 million barrels per day, reaching 3.83 million barrels per day in August 2017. High field pressure was temporary and production was not maintained at high levels.
 
Additionally, it is worth mentioning that crude oil exports increased from 2.5 million barrels per day in October 2016 to 2.61 million barrels per day in April 2018. This however was caused due to stored oil and not from new production, which would have been the ideal case.
 
During the 2010-2016 period, there were already many oil fields that had started entering the maturity phase and could not maintain satisfactory pressure to pump oil. So when the sanctions were first introduced, things became even tighter for the country. NIOC could not find a way to maintain fields at a solid productive capacity. Together with the fact that the oil revenue was declining, NIOC was eventually obligated to shutter oil wells in multiple fields due to lack of required funding.
 
What I would like to highlight here is that even before Trump’s sanctions, Iran found it difficult to approach foreign investors and companies to work together with NIOC.
 
What Iran really required once the sanctions were lifted was foreign investment and foreign expertise to revamp its oil and gas production infrastructure. As a means of enticing foreign companies to invest and work in Iran, the country’s Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, sought to offer new oil contracts with more lucrative terms compared to those prior to the sanctions. Nevertheless, those new contracts never materialized.
 
Post Trump’s sanctions
When the new sanctions arrived in May 2018, Total, the only foreign oil company that had actively pursued investment in Iran, announced that it would drop the project on the South Pars 11 gas field.
 
In contrast to the above, we noticed a rare export from Khrag island to Chile after 16 years according to refineries’ records;  (MT “MONTE TOLEDO” 140 NHC 24 MAY KHARG/CHILE).
 
Spain's Repsol purchased 500,000 barrels of Pars Oil on a spot basis. Pars Oil, co-loaded with Iranian heavy grade is a new grade produced in the West Karoun block. This specific trade shows Tehran’s willingness not only to raise oil exports but also to expand trade with Europeans.
 
To conclude, Iran is expected to focus on the improvement of its oil production as well as continue seeking new business allies in order to survive the newly introduced sanctions form the U.S. At the same time European powers are also expected to keep supporting Iranian oil exports and continue purchasing Iranian crude, simply because they wish to keep the nuclear accord with Tehran alive.
By Apostolos Rompopoulos
Oil Products  

Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations

Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima

Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.

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