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Stock Photo: Tankers carrying out a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer at sea. Photo: Shutterstock/Vallehr

Iran Oil Flows Fell Sharply Last Month, Tanker Watchdog Says

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November 6, 2023

By Alaric Nightingale (Bloomberg) —

Iran’s oil exports dropped for a second month in October, data from a firm that analyzes satellite imagery of tanker movements show.

The Persian Gulf state loaded 1.43 million barrels a day of crude and condensate onto tankers last month, according to data provided by Inc. That was a dip of 194,000 barrels a day from September and the lowest since July.

Keeping track of Iran’s oil exports is uniquely challenging because of widespread switching off of transponders that feed the shipping industry’s conventional tracking systems. TankerTrackers bolsters its analysis of flows by studying satellite imagery of cargo loadings.

The October decline came after a slightly smaller decrease — of 162,000 barrels a day —  in September. Flows in August boomed, supporting the idea that the US was more relaxed about allowing Iran’s shipments to rise despite sanctions that should be curtailing them.

A decline in Iran’s exports was expected even before last month got under way. People with knowledge of the matter said back in September that they were likely to have peaked for this year as demand in Asia wanes with the end of summer. 

Wider shipments from other nations advanced by 550,000 barrels a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.


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