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Iran condensate exports rise, new operations online: Shana

Iran’s gas condensate export sales rose to more than $12.1 billion in the 10 months to Jan. 21

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Iran’s gas condensate export sales rose to more than $12.1 billion in the 10 months to Jan. 21, up 42 percent from the same period of last year, oil ministry news website Shana cited a government spokesman as saying.

Separately, Shana also reported that Iran has started new gas condensate exports out of the world’s largest gas field, South Pars, phases 15 and 16. The first condensate shipment was 500,000 barrels, with a second 500,000 barrels cargo scheduled for export this week.

Iranian crude oil sales have fallen by more than half from 2011 levels to about 1 million barrels a day (bpd) as a result of European Union and U.S. sanctions. However, looser controls on sales of the ultra-light oil pumped out of South Pars have led to a surge in Iran’s condensate exports.

In December International Energy Agency data showed that Iranian exports of the light oil more than doubled in 2014 from the year before to about 190,000 bpd as buyers took advantage of a loophole in oil sanctions.

The United States has the option to impose sanctions on buyers of Iranian natural gas condensate, which is used as a feedstock for gasoline and petrochemicals, but only if sufficient alternative supply is available.

Iran earned more than $12.1 billion by selling gas condensate from March 21 to Jan. 21, against $8.5 billion in the same period a year earlier, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was cited by Shana as saying. The Iranian year started on March 21, 2014.

The OPEC producer is in talks with six Western powers to reach a deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear program, which could end sanctions on oil investment and trade with Iran. The deadline to reach a deal is in June.

Iran is sidestepping Western sanctions and managing to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fuel oil every month through companies based in the U.S.-allied United Arab Emirates, trading sources told Reuters.

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