Analysts said the higher exports appear to be the result of Iran’s success in evading US sanctions.
The United States has sought to limit Iran’s oil exports since Donald Trump exited a 2015 nuclear accord in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions aimed at curbing revenues to Iran’s government. But the exports have risen during President Joe Biden’s term, with China a top buyer, according to the industry trackers.
SVB International, a consultant, estimates Iran’s oil production increased in August to 3.15 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest since 2018, with crude oil and condensate exports at just under 2 million bpd.
“Iran is on the path to recover its pre-sanctions oil production,” said SVB’s Sara Vakhshouri, Business Recorder reported.
High oil prices are also a political risk for Biden as the November 2024 elections approach. More supply on the global market could keep prices down.
“It seems to be happening,” Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, said about what he calls enforcement discretion of US sanctions.
A US State Department spokesperson said the administration continues to enforce sanctions on Iran and that oil export figures fluctuate over time and according to methodology.
“We also regularly engage with other countries to strongly discourage them from taking steps that contravene sanctions on Iran,” the spokesperson said.