In one of my previous blogs I had accused western media of being dishonest. Some of my readers termed it a ‘sweeping statement’. Since then, I have been reading news pertaining to Muslim countries more carefully and dispassionately and also avoiding giving any immediate response. However, today I read news released by Reuters captioned “Exclusive: Iran capitalizes on OPEC oil cut to sell millions of barrels” submitted by Jonathan Saul.
This report talks about Iran has selling more than 13 million barrels of oil that it had long held on tankers at sea, capitalizing on an OPEC output cut deal from which it is exempted to regain market share and court new buyers, according to industry sources and data.
In the past three months, Tehran has sold almost half the oil it had held in floating storage, which had tied up many of its tankers as it struggled to offload stocks in an oversupplied global market.
The amount of Iranian oil held at sea has dropped to 16.4 million barrels, from 29.6 million barrels at the beginning of October, according to Thomson Reuters Oil Flows data. Before that sharp drop, the level had barely changed in 2016; it was 29.7 million barrels at the start of last year, the data showed.
Unsold oil is now tying up about 12 to 14 Iranian tankers, out of its fleet of about 60 vessels, compared with around 30 in the summer, according to two tanker-tracking sources.
I would like to reiterate that this news pertains to 2016 and any details about 2017 are yet to come. During December 2016 both Saudi Arab and Russia have produced oil at record levels and more shale oil rigs have resumed production in the US. Therefore, it may be said that Iran was not alone in capitalizing on its crude inventories. It only followed the footprints of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US.