Iran’s oil exports fell to their lowest level since October but are still expected to exceed an agreed-upon cap by the end of July, according to data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
A nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers requires Iran to export only about 1 million barrels of oil a day on average, excluding condensates, ultralight and gassy types of oil, over a period of six months ending July 20. Over the past five months, those exports have averaged around 1.1 million barrels a day, about 100,000 barrels a day more than the limit agreed upon in January.
The IEA said Iran’s oil exports, including condensates, declined 26 percent in June to 1.08 million barrels a day after demand reductions from China and India, its two largest Asian buyers. The last time Iran exported oil at that level was in October, when the country exported about 715,000 barrels a day, according to the IEA.
China reduced its Iranian oil imports by 36 percent over the past two months to 510,000 barrels a day, while India reduced its Iranian oil purchases by 29 percent over the same period to 141,000 barrels a day, the IEA said.
The nuclear deal in January allowed Iran to keep its oil exports unchanged at 1 million barrels a day and offered limited sanctions relief for Iran to scale down its atomic program. Unless Iran’s oil sales decline this month, its six-month average will pass the cap of 1 million barrels a day.
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The U.S. and five other world powers are negotiating what is supposed to be a final resolution by July 20 of a nearly decade-long dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.