Iran’s oil production drops sharply
The International Energy Agency says Iranian oil production has fallen below 3 million barrels a day for the first time in 20 years.
The reduction has been a direct result of EU and U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude and a ban on maritime insurance for Iranian oil shipments.
In the meantime, the IEA reports that Iraq has overtaken Iran as the number two oil producer in OPEC and is now producing 3 million bpd.
The IEA indicates that Iran’s oil production fell from 3.6 million bpd last July to 2.9 million bpd in the same month this year.
The report indicates, however, that these statistics could easily change in the second half of 2012 because Iran is trying to find buyers for its oil.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal writes in reference to the IEA report that the sanctions on Iranian oil have not caused any serious concerns in the oil market, adding that most of the companies buying Iranian oil had already secured alternative sources for their oil needs prior to July 1, when the EU oil embargo against Iran took effect.
Recent reports indicate, however, that Iran’s Asian oil customers are looking for ways to resume purchasing of Iranian crude.