The Iranian National Oil Company (NIOC) has dared today to announce its intention to open an office in Iraq on the pretext of facilitating cooperation in the oil industry and the transfer of engineering and technical services to the neighboring country. Iran uses soft names such as cooperation and transfer of services on the pretext that it will facilitate cooperation in the oil sector and transfer of engineering and technical services to Iraq. Words of the media… Does Iran have all the right and authority in Iraq? Where is the sovereignty of Mesopotamia?
Iran wants to share Iraq in its oil wealth and exploitation in the projects of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, can Iraq participate Iran in their oil companies and projects? The answer absolutely no? Why are you competing to sell the sovereignty of your country?
Since the imposition of US sanctions on Iran in November 2018, after the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement concluded in 2015 between Tehran and the six world powers, these sanctions have already reduced Iranian oil exports more than half or one million barrels per day or less, Iran stands today in a dangerous turn with expiration of exemptions granted by the United States to Iranian oil buyers.
Where the latest reports of the Iranian oil sector showed that exports fell in April 2019 million barrels per day compared to 2.5 million barrels per day in 2018, while production in 2019 decreased to 2.7 million barrels per day, after being in the 2018 about 3.8 million barrels per day.
Economic figures show that oil sales accounted for 51 percent of government revenues and 60 percent of the country’s total exports. Figures confirm exports have fallen to 50 percent since the imposition of sanctions and after Iran was OPEC’s fourth largest oil producer.
The local energy market this year recorded 6 million barrels and sold 3.6 million barrels. Forecasts predict a sharp drop in Iran’s oil exports following Tehran’s criticism of America, which is seeking a complete halt to Iranian oil exports.
Experts’ forecasts show that Iran’s crude exports will decline in May as Washington tightens its grip on Tehran’s main source of income, deepening the loss of world supply resulting from US sanctions on Venezuela and OPEC-led cuts.
Iran’s exports not registered in OPEC:
Iran’s exports have been increasingly clouded by the return of sanctions, with Tehran no longer reporting OPEC about its production figures and no confirmed export information.
Some of Iran’s oil exports are not already observed , making it more difficult to estimate the actual size, while the estimates of the Refinetiv Aikon and Kepler, a company that tracks oil flows, estimate that Tehran exported between 1.02 – 1.30 million barrels per day of crude and condensates in April, Last April.
“Everyone who uses oil as a weapon will bring death and collapse to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),” Oil Minister Bein Zengane said in a statement.
He added “Those who use oil as a weapon against two founding members of OPEC are destabilizing the unity of the Organization and bring death and collapse to OPEC, the responsibility is theirs, and anyone who uses oil as a political tool must accept the consequences.”
An Iranian official familiar with oil policy said exports could drop to 700,000 bpd and possibly 500,000 bpd from May onwards, while an OPEC source predicted Iranian exports would continue at about 400 to 600,000 bpd.
Some analysts at Energy predict a drop in Iranian shipments to around 600,000 bpd from May.
Washington insists on its goal of halting Iran’s sales altogether.
All exemptions granted to Iranian oil importers will end this week, while Iran says a complete halt will not happen, but its officials are ready to the decline of supplies.
The United States demanded almost a few days ago that Tehran’s buyers stop importing Iranian crude by the beginning of May or face sanctions, including six-month exemptions that allowed the top eight buyers of Iranian oil, most of them in Asia, to continue importing in limited quantities.
It is known that China imports 36% of Iranian oil, South Korea about 23%, India 15%.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump has put key oil importers such as China, India, South Korea and Japan in front of tough choices – whether to implement a boycott resolution or continue to get cheap Iranian oil, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned countries and companies that it would make a grave mistake if it violated US sanctions on importing Iranian oil.
“We are convinced that we can ensure that the market receives sufficient supplies,” Pompeo said. “We continue to work on it, and for companies that violate sanctions, they will be held accountable.”
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had a different view of Trump that the OPEC Secretary General Mohamed Barkindo said it was impossible to exclude Iranian oil from international markets, stressing that “there is no need to return this, and it is impossible to exclude Iranian oil from the market.
For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “If we received less money through the sale of oil, we will compensate them from other sources,” asserting that the words of US officials are baseless.
Iran exploits Iraq to get rid of sanctions:
Iraq is an outlet and a lung from which Iran breathes commercially, where visits of Iranian officials to Iraq have been repeated to escape the US sanctions imposed on it , by exploiting Iraqi economy, although it suffers from many challenges to economic development and societal problems, but Iran exploits it with the help of loyalists within the Iraqi government for its interest first and in order to alleviate the heavy burden of US sanctions imposed on it .
This has enabled Iran to double its trade balance to $ 24 billion, and the value of trade has doubled to the current rate up to $ 12 billion.
Iraq provides services to the Iranian side, at the expense of the Iraqi economy why? With high unemployment rates and the poverty line in Iraq? Excludes Iranian goods from customs duties.
The Iranian Chamber of Commerce said that Iraq excluded a number of goods, traders and Iranian producers and exporters from the payment of customs duties.
The head of the chamber in the south of the country, Shahla Amuri, said that negotiations are underway with Iraq to exclude a larger number of Iranian goods and commodities, after already excluded 25 of the goods produced in the southern Arabistan region, “Khuzestan” from customs duties.
It announced the formation of a committee to monitor the export of goods from the region to Iraq, including representatives from the General Directorate of Industry, Mining and Trade, the Chamber of Commerce, the Cooperative Shops, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the free Arun Zone and the Iraqi Consul in Al Ahwaz, and to reach good results for the Iranian side rather than the Iraqi side on the export of engineering and technical services to Iraq, and added that Iraq had decided to put land free of charge at the disposal of the Iranian contractors to build the residential buildings, in return, Iraq guarantees them to sell.
Permanent exhibition of Iranian goods in Baghdad:
For his part, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Erg Masjidi, announced that a permanent exhibition of Iranian goods will be opened in Baghdad for a period of a year, the largest economic event between the two countries. He pointed out that every week will present the Iranian production and industrial capabilities in one of the specialized fields; it means that during a year, 48 Iranian specialist exhibitions will be held in the Iraqi capital.
Simplifying the procedures for the entry of goods into Iraq coinciding with the cessation Iraqi industries ,where Iraqi and Iranian customs officials in Baghdad have discussed ways to simplify the entry of Iranian goods into Iraq, simply it benefits Iran because the industry in Iraq is almost shut down.
Iraq, the oil country, is supposed to be the first industrial country, currently importing gas and electric power from Iran, which is the first provider of it, which gives Iran large sums of money that it helps Iran to deal with the effects of sanctions.
Iraq also imports a wide range of goods from Iran, including food, agricultural products, household appliances, air conditioners and auto parts.
Goods in Iranian exports to Iraq represent about $ 6 billion in the last 12 months to March 2018, about 15 percent of Iraq’s total imports in 2017.
Regardless of the US administration’s ability to achieve its goal to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero fully , expectations are mounting that the US plan will lead to a significant drop in Iran’s oil sales, leading to a shortage of markets and thus a rise in prices.
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies