A crude oil tanker sails through the Persian Gulf towards Kharq Island to transport crude oil to export markets in the Persian Gulf, Iran. (Bloomberg)

July 30, 2019

Based on information Radio Farda has obtained from a tanker tracking firm, the stockpile of unsold Iranian oil on tankers and ports has dramatically increased in July.

Figures obtained from Kpler, which tracks oil shipments around the world, show Iran’s stockpiled oil on stationary tankers around the Persian Gulf region has reached 56 million barrels, nearly doubling from just two months earlier.

As a result, Iranian National Oil Company’s tanker storage capacity is almost 100 percent full.

Besides oil stockpiled on tankers, Kpler’s figures show that currently 55.5 million barrels are being kept in Iran’s ground storage facilities and another big quantity is stockpiled in China’s Jinzhou Underground SPR.

The total stockpiled oil is at least 111 million barrels, which in pre-sanctions days would mean a two-month export volume; counting two million barrels a day as Iran’s normal daily export market share prior to sanctions.

Kpler also reports that as a result of full tanker storage capacity, loadings have slowed down. China still took in around 170 barrels a day in June and a smaller volume went to Turkey.

However, shipments to China have increased in July to 360,000 barrels, possibly because Iran’s storage facilities on tankers and on the ground are full. It is not clear how much of this volume is being stockpiled in China and how much is going for consumption.

Kpler says, “The Trump Administration indeed appears to be closing in on the desired ‘zero lower bound’ that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear was the target in his speech announcing an end to sanctions waivers in late-April.”

Radio Farda

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.