Chinese private refineries buying more oil from Iran

April 7, 2023 - 12:43

TEHRAN- Chinese private refineries are buying more Iranian oil as competition for supplies from Russia rises, Bloomberg reported.

So-called teapots are prioritizing the flows, with Russian supplies getting more pricey as mainstream buyers such as state-owned Chinese refiners and Indian processors take a greater share, according to analysts and trade data.

In March, China’s imports of Iranian crude and condensate jumped 20 percent month-on-month to 800,000 barrels a day, and are on track to extend gains in coming months, according to Emma Li, an analyst with data intelligence firm Vortexa Ltd.

While Iranian oil has long been sanctioned by the US, refiners in China have proved to be a consistent outlet. 

Most Iranian oil used to go to state-owned refineries but “the private refiners in Shandong especially are now running the show,” said Homayoun Falakshahi, senior crude oil analyst at Kpler, the data and analytics firm.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that the oil and gas sector experienced a growth of nine percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1401 (ended on March 20).

Oil Minister Javad Oji has recently said that a new record high will be reached in the country’s oil export in the current Iranian calendar year.

The country’s oil export in 1401 was 83 million barrels more than that of 1400, and 190 million barrels more than the export in 1399, the minister announced.

Underlining that now oil export has reached the highest figure in the last two years, the official said, “Considering that the Oil Ministry is one of the main providers of the country's foreign currency; in the 13th government, despite the tightening of cruel sanctions, fortunately, thanks to the grace of God and the efforts of our colleagues in the country's oil and gas industries, there are good records in the field of exporting crude oil, gas condensate, and petroleum and petrochemical products.”

Despite the negative impacts of the U.S. sanctions, Iran has been ramping up its oil production and exports over the past few months.

In his remarks in November 2022, President Raisi highlighted the failure of the enemy’s policy of maximum pressure, saying the country’s oil export has reached the pre-sanction levels.

Back in January, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in a report put Iran’s average oil production in 2022 at 2.54 million bpd, 140,000 bpd more than the previous year.

Iran's oil production in 2021 was about 2.4 million bpd.


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