IRAN OIL FALL
Iran's oil exports fell in March having reached a 20-month peak two months earlier, a global energy watchdog said on Thursday, potentially easing concerns that Tehran could breach a six-month cap agreed with the West in a broader deal over its nuclear program.
In its monthly market report, the International Energy Agency said that "estimated April import volumes [by foreign buyers of Iranian oil] were down by about 180,000 barrels a day to 1.11 million barrels a day."
The export numbers, which include condensates, compared with 1.29 million barrels a day in March and a 20-month peak of 1.58 million barrels a day in February, it said. Condensates exports stood at around 230,000 barrels a day in April compared with 150,000 barrels a day in March, the agency said.
The IEA's data confirmed statements by Iran's deputy oil minister for international affairs Ali Majedi that crude exports—which exclude condensates—averaged 1.2 million barrels a day in the past three months. That number—which excludes condensates—suggested a reduction from February levels of 1.3 million barrels a day.
In November, Iran agreed to cap its crude exports—excluding condensates—to 1 million barrels a day on a six-month average. The commitment is part of a broader interim deal with six world powers over its nuclear program.
Some countries such as India have reduced their intake of oil from Iran as they seek to adjust to U.S. sanctions limiting their imports of Iranian oil.
On an average basis, Iran's oil exports, however, have been higher this year. Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said earlier Thursday that oil exports amounted to 1.5 million barrels a day on average. That contrasts with a low of about 700,000 barrels a day in October, according to IEA estimates.
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